The Cook County Merit Board has ordered a 30-day suspension of a Cook County correctional officer after he was previously placed on administrative leave without pay and recommended for termination. Teamsters Local 700 has been fighting this case for this officer for more than three years when he was first disciplined. The original trial took place in August 2016.
Sheriff Tom Dart filed a complaint with the Merit Board against the officer for using OC spray and “excessive force” on an inmate back in June 2013, despite seeing several officers trying to handcuff the inmate who was ignoring officers’ commands and had become violent. The officer had deemed his actions necessary to detain this inmate and prevent a riot among the other inmates in the area. The Merit Board found that the correctional officer’s actions were within the parameters of the Sheriff’s orders regarding conduct with violent and insubordinate inmates.
Local 700 intends to pursue reinstatement and back pay dating back to February 2016.
“Though the Union expects that the Sheriff will file an appeal in this case, we are pleased that the officer will be able to continue working and regain his livelihood for his family,” said Teamsters Local 700 President Michael G. Melone.
The Sheriff has 35 days to appeal the decision.