Dart: County court employees padded time cards, now face termination

SHARE Dart: County court employees padded time cards, now face termination
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Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue. | Supplied photo

As many as 13 employees of the Cook County court system could lose their jobs after a lengthy investigation showed they padded their time cards to earn more money than they earned.

“An extensive, months-long investigation into time fraud by Cook County sheriff’s deputies and supervisors has resulted in disciplinary action against 48 officers,” a statement from Sheriff Tom Dart’s office announced Friday.

The internal investigation, which started in December 2016, involved courts division deputies and supervisors who worked weekend shifts at the Criminal Court Building at 26th and California.

The employees “often arrived late to work and left the workplace for periods of time while earning full pay,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Dart will seek to terminate 11 deputies and two supervisors whose conduct was “the most egregious.”

Those 13 employees logged a total of more than 85 hours of fraudulent time, investigators found.

The other 35 officers will be suspended for 15 to 60 days, according to the sheriff’s office. That includes 27 deputies and eight supervisors, who are also being disciplined for “failure to supervise their subordinates.”

By law, the terminations must be approved by the independent merit board.

In the meantime, the sheriff’s office has taken a number of measures to increase accountability. They include “adjustments to and increased supervision, significant time audits, and the introduction of electronic accountability measures.”

Teamsters Local 700, the union representing the disciplined employees,did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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