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Budget ax falling — but not on Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans' daughters

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Chicago Tribune
by Steve Schmadeke

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans says layoffs, imposed last week by the County Board, could compromise his staff’s ability to do legally required work.

Saying his office is one of the hardest hit by budget cuts, Evans is expected to lose 156 employees. But his twin daughters, 46 and earning six-figure salaries working in their father’s office, needn’t fret — they aren’t on the layoff list, officials said and the Sun-Times first reported in recent days.

Longtime county employees, both were hired the same day in 1993, about two years after Evans first won his first judicial election. Evans became the county’s chief judge in 2001, putting him at the controls of a massive court system that today includes 13 courthouses and more than 1 million criminal and civil cases pending at any given time. In addition to nearly 400 circuit and associate judges, Evans supervises close to 2,700 employees, and also heads the county’s juvenile detention center and probation department.

Among those staffers are his daughters. Catherine Evans, who was promoted in September to acting director of the Guardianship Assistance Desk for Minors, makes $121,559 a year after receiving a 9 percent raise. She was promoted from assistant director after the former director wrote a glowing recommendation letter, said Pat Milhizer, a spokesman for the chief judge.

Evans’ other daughter Cynthia Evans makes over $100,000 a year as deputy jury administrator, a position she’s held since 2003, according to county records.

“They’ve been treated the same as anyone else,” Milhizer said.

After Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s revenue-generating pop tax fell flat among constituents, leading to its repeal, budget cuts — and layoffs in particular — were inevitable. So her budget, which was approved last week by the County Board, included 300-plus layoffs, roughly half of them in Evans’ office. Evans is threatening to sue over the cuts, putting him at odds once again with Preckwinkle. You’ll recall that Evans, a former alderman, narrowly lost his City Council seat to Preckwinkle in 1991.

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