CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans appears to be moving ahead with his plan to hire more trial judges when they may not be needed.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Keith Johnson reports, there is a lot of head-scratching going on as Evans moves to add nine new associate judges, at a time when the current 415 judges have caseloads lighter than the state average, the Daily Herald reported.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Keith Johnson reports

Evans has named 18 finalists – 10 men and eight women – for the eight new posts, the Daily Herald reported. The 272 Circuit Court judges in the county will vote on the finalists by secret ballot.

The newspaper found out that the additional hires will cost over $2 million in taxpayer dollars in the first year, and over $63 million in pension contributions for the year.

Cook County Commissioner Timothy O. Schneider (R-15th) is quoted in the Daily Herald as saying, “We should not hire those people unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

Evans did not return calls from the Daily Herald for comment on the issue.

Watch & Listen LIVE