Chief judge files action against Cook County Board

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Chief Cook County Judge Timothy Evans said the suit against Cook County, Preckwinkle and county Treasurer Maria Pappas aims to make the county to take “whatever action is necessary” to stave off the layoffs. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Chief Cook County Judge Timothy Evans made good Thursday on his promise to sue to block 2018 budget cuts planned by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle that would hit the court system hard.

More than 160 employees in the court system are slated for layoffs under the budget approved in November.

Evans said the suit against Cook County, Preckwinkle and county Treasurer Maria Pappas aims to make the county to take “whatever action is necessary” to stave off the layoffs.

Those targeted for termination have higher salaries and more seniority, according to the chief judge’s lawsuit, which says the layoffs would cause “disruption to the essential functioning of the court” and also force him to violate union contracts.

Preckwinkle spokesman Frank Shuftan said late Thursday that the county will “certainly defend the budget passed by the board.” He also said “any delay in implementing the reductions in force established in the budget will result in deeper cuts later.”

A hearing on Evans’ bid to block the layoffs is set for 11 a.m. Friday.

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