Patrick BlanchardOffice of the Independent Inspector
Phone: General Complaint Hotline: (312) 603-0745
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 October 23, 2014 bringing Cook County Health (CCH) closer to achieving substantial compliance. The Plan sets forth the general principles that will govern CCH’s hiring and employment policies under the jurisdiction of the CEO and it applies to current employees of CCH 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 politically-related persons or organizations to the Office of the Independent Inspector General (OIIG).
This Cook County Health (“CCH”) Employment Plan (the “Employment Plan”) was prepared as required by the Supplemental Relief Order that was agreed to by the Board on November 29, 2006, and approved on February 2, 2007, in Shakman et al. v. County of Cook, et al. (the “SRO”). This Employment Plan sets forth the principles, procedures and policies governing hiring and employment by CCHHS. This Employment Plan applies to all current Employees of the County who are assigned to CCHHS (“Employees”), as well as to all Applicants and Candidates for Positions with CCH. The Compliance Administrator (“CA”), while acting, has the right to monitor any and all aspects of this Employment Plan in order to assess CCH’s progress toward substantial compliance with the SRO. This will include, but not be limited to, the right to monitor any and all Employment Actions involving both union and non-union Employees. All undefined terms in this Section I will have the meanings given them in Section II below.
The mission of CCH is to provide quality healthcare to the residents of Cook County with dignity and respect regardless of their ability to pay. No Employment Action covering any Position in CCH may be based on any Political Reasons or Factors.
The CEO may from time to time amend this Employment Plan following written notice of any proposed changes to this Employment Plan to the Employment Plan Officer (EPO) and Office of the Independent Inspector General (OIIG). The OIIG and the EPO will be given an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed amendment prior to implementation. If the EPO or the OIIG objects to the change, they must do so in writing within 10 business days and submit the same to the Chief of DHR. The CEO, the Chief of DHR, the EPO and the OIIG will then meet to discuss the matter. The decision of the CEO on any proposed change to this Employment Plan will be final.
Proposed changes to this Employment Plan will not be implemented until 10 business days after either the date the EPO and the OIIG were provided notice of the proposed changes or the date the CEO makes his or her decision resolving any objections to the proposed change, whichever is later.
Until the effective date of a court order dissolving the Consent Decrees and the SRO, after following the procedures described above, the CEO will send any proposed changes to this Employment Plan to the EPO, the CA and Plaintiffs’ Counsel. If the CA or Plaintiffs’ Counsel sends a written objection to the proposed change to this Employment Plan to the Chief of DHR within five business days of the CCH notice of the change, CCH, the CA and Plaintiffs’ Counsel will meet to discuss the proposed change in a good faith effort to reach agreement. If CCHHS, the CA and Plaintiffs’ Counsel are unable to reach agreement, CCHHS may file a motion to amend this with the court in the Shakman case. Until the effective date of a court order dissolving the Consent Decrees and the SRO, all changes to this Employment Plan must be filed and approved by the court in the Shakman Case prior to being implemented by CCH.
CCH is committed to continuing its practices of being an equal opportunity employer, hiring qualified candidates and the prohibition of Unlawful Political Discrimination with respect to all Employment Actions. This Employment Plan is intended to create transparent and workable new processes and procedures that meet the business needs of the CCH and comply with legal requirements. It is not possible to anticipate and address every situation that may give rise to Unlawful Political Contacts or Unlawful Political Discrimination, and the CCH is prepared to comply with the spirit of the law to meet those situations in the future.
- Exhibit 12 – Dept Div & Section Chairs of Medical Dept of Medical Staff List
- Exhibit A – CCH Department List
Uniform Political Contact Log
In order to further the goal of eliminating unlawful political discrimination in government and to foster a transparent, honest and fair employment process, CCH wishes to reaffirm its goal of eliminating unlawful political discrimination and to remind County employees and officials of their obligations to log certain political contacts and to use the Political Log when documenting certain political contacts.
The CCH CEO is committed to upholding the prohibition against politically-related persons and organizations influencing or attempting to influence employment actions involving employees deemed “non-exempt” for purposes of this prohibition. See the link below to download a copy of the Political Contact Log.
NOTICE OF HEARING ON SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE.
On August 31, 2018, Cook County and the Shakman Plaintiffs filed a joint motion in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois seeking a hearing for substantial compliance and dismissal of the County of Cook in Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, No. 69 C 2145. On September 4, 2018, the U.S. District Court has ordered a hearing (the “Hearing”) to be held at 10:00 a.m. on October 31, 2018 for the purpose of determining whether the Court should enter an order (i) finding the County of Cook (“Cook”) to be in Substantial Compliance with the Supplemental Relief Order and the 1994 Consent Decree and (ii) dismissing the County from this case. The formal notice of the Hearing may be found on the attached link labeled “Notice of Substantial Compliance Hearing.pdf.” The accompanying documents associated with the joint motion may be accessed below through the attached link labeled “Joint Motion for Substantial Compliance Hearing.pdf.”
For a full copy of Executive Order 2008-1
On October 31, 2018, the Cook County (including CCH) was found to be in compliance with the Shakman Consent Decree and was released from federal oversight. In the attached Court Order, the CCH Employment Plan is Exhibit 3. Oversight of the Employment Plan and related policies is the responsibility of the CCH HR team, EPO, and Office of the Independent Inspector General.
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:
- Kent S. Ray, Assistant State’s Attorney, Supervisor, Municipal Litigation, 500 Daley Center, Chicago, Illinois 60602, P: (312) 603-6934
- 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 West Washington, Suite 840, Chicago, Illinois 60602, P: (312) 603-8911