October 28, 1969, a lawsuit entitled Michael Shakman, et al., v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, et al., No. 69 C 2145 (N.D. Ill.) was filed seeking the court to prohibit Cook County and the Board of Commissioners of Cook County (“County Board”), among other defendants, from conditioning, basing or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment upon or because of any political reason or factor.
On May 5, 1972 and January 7, 1994, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered Consent Judgments with respect to, among others, the County and County Board, prohibiting the conditioning, basing or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment upon or because of any political reason or factor. Those Judgments provided that the Court retained jurisdiction with respect to, among other matters, issues of political hiring and the designation of a number of positions which should be exempt from the prohibitions established under the Consent Judgments.
On November 29, 2006, the Board of Commissioners of Cook County agreed to the entry of a Supplemental Relief Order (SRO) by the District Court. On December 7, 2006, the court entered an order (Preliminary Approval Order) preliminarily approving the Supplemental Relief Order agreed to by the plaintiffs and Cook County. The District Court approved the SRO at the hearing held on February 2, 2007.
In order to advance the goal of bringing the County into substantial compliance, the County must, among other things, implement the Employment Plan. The Employment Plan was filed on March 19, 2012 bringing the County closer to achieving substantial compliance. The Plan sets forth the general principles that will govern the County’s hiring and employment policies under the jurisdiction of the President and it applies to current employees of the County as well as all applicants and candidates. The Plan calls for the implementation of pro-active and transparent policies, practices and procedures and includes elements that address the prohibition and influence of political reasons and factors in the employment process. In addition the Plan addresses an employee’s duty to report unlawful political discrimination as well as the reporting of political contacts from politcially-related persons or organizations to the Office of the Independent Inspector General (OIIG). Cook County Employment Plan
Uniform Political Contact Log
November 9, 2010 Orders
December 2, 2010 Orders
For More Information
Additional information may be found from the Shakman Compliance Administrator’s website at www.countyshakman.com
You can also obtain copies from:
- Patrick T. Driscoll, Jr., counsel for Cook County, State’s Attorney’s Office 500 Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago, IL 60602
- Roger Fross, counsel for the plaintiff classes, Lord, Bissell & Brook LLP 111 South Wacker Drive, Suite 4100, Chicago, Illinois 60606
- Mary Robinson, Shakman Compliance Administrator 69 W. Washington, Suite 840, Chicago, IL 60602