(CBS) — The Teamsters Union – representing law enforcement officers at the Cook County Sheriff’s office – has taken out a full-page newspaper ad criticizing the sheriff’s staffing and spending priorities.
The ad says it is, “unacceptable for the largest county correctional facility in the country to be short-staffed.”
Cara Smith, chief of policy and communications for Sheriff Tom Dart, says there’s an unacceptable level of call-ins – staff that don’t show up for work at Cook County Jail.
She suggested a union election this week figured into the Teamsters’ timing in running the ad.
“We have 800 more correctional officers today than when Sheriff Dart came into office. So with the election tomorrow and Thursday, I don’t know if that plays into the timing.
“Out first priority every single day is the safety of our staff.”
The Teamsters’ ad criticizes Dart’s office for spending money on “raising chickens, growing gardens and scheduling blindfolded Russian chess masters to play games with inmates.”