Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions


  Office phone numbers:  

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.


The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Sheahan foes seek probe of jail melee
Officers' response to fight questioned

Monday, October 18, 2004
Chicago Tribune
by Carlos Sadovi

Critics of the management of the Cook County Jail are raising questions about how effectively correctional officers responded to a fight between gangs that left at least six inmates hospitalized Saturday.

Rev. Harold Bailey, chairman of the Cook County Board of Corrections and an outspoken critic of Sheriff Michael Sheahan, on Sunday called for an investigation into why it took nearly 30 minutes to get the officers to break up a fight Saturday afternoon between rival gangs in Division 9, a maximum-security wing of the jail.

Bailey, who has sued Sheahan over the sheriff's appointment to head the jail, said the half hour it took guards to respond was too long.

"There is great concern. ... This event should serve as a wake-up call," he said.

Bailey said Saturday's incident showed the jail has been mismanaged at least since Sheahan appointed Callie Baird to run the facility last year.

But Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Sheahan, called the officers' response Saturday "appropriate." Officials will review dozens of reports Monday to come up with a time line of the fighting and the response by officers after the melee started about 1:30 p.m., Daly said.

"There is no indication that there was any problem with the response time," she said.

The fight began in the dayroom of a third-floor tier that holds between 40 and 50 inmates, Daly said. About 21 inmates were injured in the fight, with six going to two hospitals. On Sunday, one inmate remained at Stroger Hospital, but a hospital official declined to give his condition.

A guard who was assigned to supervise the tier summoned help from his post outside the dayroom and waited for backup to arrive, Daly said. About 20 officers responded, she said.

Steven Calcaterra, a lawyer for the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, which represents the correctional officers, said that although he does not know the details of what happened Saturday, the incident shows staffing levels are too low.

The officer acted prudently to wait for backup before trying to stop the fight, Calcaterra said.

"If they are in a situation where they cannot control the situation, they can't stay in there," he said. "Every situation like that is a life-and-death situation for the officers."

Daly said the Sheriff's Department plans to conduct an investigation to determine which inmates were involved in the fight and would try to have them prosecuted. She said Bailey's criticisms stem from his opposition to Sheahan.

But Cook County Commissioner Michael Quigley, himself a Sheahan critic, has joined Bailey in calling for an investigation into the incident. Quigley said he is awaiting more information.

He also said, "this incident is not a surprise" to him given his concerns about Sheahan's leadership.

The management of the jail has come under harsh public criticism recently.

A report issued last month by a special grand jury investigating the beating of nearly 50 inmates by Special Operations Response Team officers in 1999 found "what appears to be blatant obstruction of justice" in an alleged coverup. The grand jury's 150-page report was forwarded to the U.S. attorney's office and Cook County State's Atty. Richard Devine for further investigation.

Recent Headlines

Feds: Former Cook County employee stole $300K from flood grant
Friday, August 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Third annual FPCC photo contest
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Special to

Cook County offers back-to-school health checklist
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cook County Inspector General wins round over Berrios on subpoena
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health weighs $70M contract to coordinate patient care
Monday, August 25, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Buck of the Week: Unplugged in Cook County
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois exchange on 3 additional insurers' radar for 2015
Friday, August 22, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health eyes new call center, more nurses to better compete for patients
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Obamacare money boost helps Cook County hospitals budget next year
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health puts brakes on plan to sell HMO on Obamacare exchange
Friday, August 15, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

City home values only glimmer in bleak Cook property value report
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Trends in Estimated Full Value of Real Estate in Cook County
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Civic Federation

Forest Preserves of Cook County Offers Wilderness Camping Opportunities for Families
Monday, August 11, 2014
Special to

Court: Bears owe Cook County $4.1 million in ticket taxes
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

3-week closures announced for Crawford repaving
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Skokie Review

Appeals court rules against Preckwinkle tax on business
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Panel: Cook Co. use tax violates state law
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

County awards $680K to groups working to curb recidivism
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Inmates signing up for Obamacare: Dart
Monday, August 04, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Property tax bills rise at Cook County's biggest buildings
Monday, August 04, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.