Pubdate: Thu, 13 Jun 2002
Source: Star, The (IL)
Copyright: 2000 The Sun-Times Co.
Note: The Star prints 23 local editions in Illinois
Author: James E. Gierach, David L. Butterfield


Cook County Jail ringmaster Sheriff Michael Sheahan is looking for a few 
good men to replace the swelling ranks of deputies on administrative leave, 
on trial or otherwise in hot water. Watching the antics of his deputies in 
like watching a three-ring circus.

Recently, as Judge Clayton Crane acquitted five Cook County deputy sheriffs 
of all charges arising out of a post-party police chase, he said, "If I 
could sentence these officers to wear red noses for the bozos they are, I 
would do that."

But these are not the only bozos in the Cook County sheriff's office. Judge 
Ronald A. Himel recently acquitted three more. Others await trial on 
charges for other escapades.

 From a wedding reception brawl and strangulation death in Countryside, to 
the demise of a thirsty prisoner locked in a Bridgeview courthouse holding 
cell, to the broken cheekbone of a Brown's Chicken villain held for 
safe-keeping in the world's largest jail, to the arrest and charging of two 
deputies on first degree murder charges for allegedly bungling the 
collection of a $70,000 drug debt, to a Wild Bill Hickok shoot-'em-up car 
chase down the streets of Cook County - the sheriff's office and law 
enforcement are made to look like a circus show. And a string of 
acquittals, however long, is not exonerating them.

The Cook County sheriff's office should be looking for some replacement 
deputies, not some bozos who think that the constitution has something to 
do with capacity to hold one's liquor or the ability to eat anything 
without getting a bellyache, or that boots are for kicking inmates or that 
badges carry a grant of immunity from the law.

It was shameful enough when the Cook County sheriff's office countenanced 
the strip-search of women as a part of its jail release protocol (can't 
have jail contraband spilling over the walls to the outside) and 
facilitated the mistaken service of quashed and recalled warrants like the 
Sheriff of Nottingham. But recent antics take the cake.

Sheriff Sheahan was elected to clean house after a corrupt administration 
led by Cook County Sheriff James O'Grady and to plug the holes in the Cook 
County Jail sieve, through which inmates were regularly escaping. The 
mission was not, however, to unleash undisciplined hellions on citizens 
inside and outside of the jail.

With regard to Judge Crane's acquittal of five bozos, perhaps the Cook 
County sheriff's office needs a new slogan - "Don't booze-o when bozo- ing" 
- - patterned after the rule "Don't drink and drive."


Oak Lawn
- ---------------------------------------------
Fine Drug Awareness Seminar; Thanks For Everyone's Efforts

As a parent and school board member, I'd like to thank New Lenox Mayor Mike 
Smith, New Lenox Police Chief Walter Kaszubski and Will County Sheriff's 
Deputy Chief Paul Kaupas for their efforts in sponsoring the parent drug 
awareness seminar May 29.

Many people contributed toward the presentation including: Sgt. Lora Del 
Bianco and officer Aurena Davis of the New Lenox Police Department, and 
Sgt. David Knutson and investigator Pete Piazza of the Will County Gang 
Suppression Unit. It was a great presentation that all parents would 
benefit from.

I am also compelled to recognize David Sutor of Hazelden Clinic and the 
three-area high school graduates that spoke eloquently of the drug scene in 
our local high schools and their struggles of drug/alcohol abuse and their 
journey to present day sobriety.

The resounding message from all speakers that evening was: Parents, 
communicate and stay involved with your children. Parents need to know what 
their children are doing and whom they are doing it with. Communication and 
education are the keys to keeping your children safe and free from the 
negative effects of drugs and alcohol use.

As a community member, I applaud the effort of our public servants and 
parents that attended the meeting, but was disheartened by the sparse 
attendance of our community at this informative meeting.


New Lenox
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth