Deputies' Suit Against Dart Goes to Trial

A federal lawsuit being heard in Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer's courtroom this week alleges that nearly two dozen deputies were punished because they didn't support Sheriff Tom Dart's 2006 election bid.

Cook County Sheriff Lt. Doug Zimny and nearly two dozen other deputies say they've been punished through "denials of promotions, discipline, being put back in the jail, being denied opportunity for advancement, having their lives destroyed."

During the 2006 campaign, the deputies supported their boss, Richard Remus, in his campaign against Dart. Remus at the time was the deputies' boss, as the chief of the new-defunct Special Operations Response Team.

The plaintiffs claim that unit was disbanded solely for political reasons just two weeks after Dart won the election.

They also claim the brother of then-sheriff Mike Sheahan, James "Skinny" Sheahan, said the deputies would face consequences for not supporting Dart. They said those consequences have also included the loss of overtime hours and frequently changing work hours.
Shakman Decrees prohibit politically-motivated firings, demotions, transfers, or other punishment of government employees.

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