Cook County’s chief judge sues to block layoffs

December 1, 2017 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County’s chief judge has filed a lawsuit against the county board’s president and treasurer seeking to block budget cuts for the 2018 fiscal year.

More than 160 employees in the court system are slated for layoff under a $5.2 billion budget approved this month.

Chief Judge Timothy Evans on Thursday said the lawsuit against County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Treasurer Maria Pappas aims to make the county to take “whatever action is necessary” to stave off the layoffs.

The lawsuit was filed on Evans’ behalf by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office. It contends the layoffs would cause “disruption to the essential functioning of the court” and also force him to violate union contracts. Evans says those targeted for termination have higher salaries and more seniority.

Spokesman Frank Shuftan said Preckwinkle will defend the budget.