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Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski resigns from County Board, McCook mayor position amid federal probe

Tobolski, who doubles as mayor of McCook, had his McCook Village Hall offices searched by federal agents in September.

Ex-Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski
Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski resigned Friday.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file photo

Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski resigned Friday from the Cook County Board and from his position as mayor of McCook, months after federal agents searched his offices at McCook’s Village Hall.

Tobolski’s resignations, which was submitted to Board President Toni Preckwinkle and to the McCook village clerk, are effective March 31, according to the letters that were obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Tobolski will continue to “receive salary and benefits through his date of resignation,” a Preckwinkle spokeswoman said.

Tobolski saw his McCook Village Hall offices searched by federal agents in September. Though there was no reason given for either of the resignations, Tobolski’s decision is likely linked to the search.

That raid was part of a suburban squeeze that came days after federal agents raided the home and offices of former Democratic state Sen. Martin Sandoval. A source told the Chicago Sun-Times the raids were related.

“The President has received a letter of resignation from 16th District Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski with an effective date of March 31,” Natalia Derevyanny, a Preckwinkle spokeswoman, said. “Commissioner Tobolski did not state the reason for his resignation and the President is not going to speculate.”

Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison, R-Palos Park, said he was “surprised” by the decision and “as a human being, I feel for him and his family.”

“As a colleague I wish him well, and I hope he’ll be able to use the time to address whatever issues he’s struggling with,” Morrison said. “I wish him well in addressing them. In light of the reported stories, it’s probably for the best for his constituents in the 16th District.”

Commissioner Bridget Degnen said in a statement her colleague “must believe he can no longer serve his constituents to the best of his ability.”

“Serving on this board is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m sure we all want to be held to the highest standards,” Degnen’s statement continued.

Tobolski did not respond to a request for comment. His brother, Theron, who serves as McCook’s treasurer, hung up on a Chicago Sun-Times reporter.

Jeffrey Tobolski was elected to the seat in 2010. After the raid, he missed a string of County Board and Forest Preserve meetings — he blamed health issues for missing those meetings and said at a December Forest Preserve meeting that he was still under a doctor’s care but “... it’s my picking or choosing as to how I feel, and I’m back today.”

Pat Doherty, Jeffrey Tobolski’s chief of staff, was indicted last month on three bribery charges.

Cook County Democratic Party committeepeople will get to pick his replacement on the County Board.

Those committeepeople are 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke; Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero, who has the largest weighted vote; Blanca Vargas of Cicero; Barrett Pederson of Leyden Township; Bridgeview Mayor and state Sen. Steven Landek of Lyons Township; Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough of Proviso Township; state Rep. Michael Zalewski of Riverside Township; and Vincent Cainkar of Stickney Township.