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Sheriff’s deputies investigated for allegedly lying on time cards

Leighton Criminal Court Building at 26th Street and California Avenue

Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue. | Supplied photo

Several dozen Cook County sheriff’s deputies are being investigated for possibly lying on their time cards about how much they worked, authorities confirmed this week.

Cara Smith, chief policy officer for Sheriff Tom Dart, divulged few details of the ongoing probe but confirmed 60 sheriff’s deputies are the target of an “alleged attendance fraud” investigation.

Smith said those being investigated, including supervisors, work in the court system.

The investigation began several months ago and should be wrapped up in the next six weeks, Smith said.

“Obviously it’s a large investigation given the number of people, so we’re being very methodical,” she said.

Tamara Cummings, a lawyer for the union that represents the sheriff’s deputies, said Thursday that she has only heard rumors about the accusations.

“We haven’t received any specific allegations involving any deputy or deputies. However, we are aware that there is an investigation going on,” said Cummings, general counsel with the Illinois FOP Labor Council.

In September, five sheriff’s employees who work in the fugitive task force of the central warrants division were suspended without pay for theft of time on Christmas day in 2014, Smith said.

The sergeant involved in the holiday time fraud has since resigned and the sheriff’s office is seeking the termination of the other four police officers for falsifying documents and being “untruthful” during the investigation, Smith said.