CHICAGO (CBS) — A government watchdog group has filed a lawsuit against Cook County, to get access to records about potential patronage in county hiring.
Better Government Association president and CEO Andy Shaw said his group sued the county over so-called “clout logs,” records the county must keep regarding instances when political figures contact the county about available jobs.
“The county is required under the Shakman consent decree to keep track of any calls made by politicians to try to influence hiring in an improper way. They must keep track of these calls, and turn the Shaakman monitor and to the inspector general. We wanted those logs,” Shaw said. “We felt that they were public information. I still do. The county disagreed. We sued them.”
A spokeswoman for the county said she can’t comment on the litigation, because the county has not been formally served with the lawsuit.
Shaw said beefed-up legal representation for the BGA allowed them to be more aggressive after the county denied a request for the logs under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
“Prior to this year, prior to an in-house part-time lawyer, we would have basically fought with them when they didn’t comply with the FOIA. It probably would have been the end of the conversation,” Shaw said.
That’s just one of many changes at the BGA since Shaw took over. He’s the guest on this weekend’s edition of “At Issue” with WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore, airing Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.