(CBS) — Cook County animal control officers who are assigned government cars are paid for commuting to work and for commuting home.
WBBM’s Steve Miller looks at a new report that raises questions among some county commissioners.
Cook County’s Independent Inspector General is out with a report on the Department of Animal and Rabies Control. It identifies a “major area of concern” — Animal control officers are allowed to start and complete their workdays from their residences.
They “are commuting both to and from their residences to their work location on County time,” the report says. This amounts to approximately three hours per day, report says.
“If traffic is heavy, causing the animal control officers to arrive late to their residence, they are compensated with compensatory time,” according to the report.
The IG’s 15-page report refers to county animal control as “efficiently operated,” but says there is an “over-reliance on euthanasia.”
“There are worker practices in that department that simply should not be going on and cannot be tolerated,” says Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, who asked the inspector general to look at the agency. “We need to be very cognizant of what these practices are, how they can be fixed and what they’re costing us.”
A spokesperson for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says her office is grateful for the examination.
“We will carefully review the OIIG’s document, its findings and recommendations to determine how the Department can build upon its basic mission, plug any gaps in operations, and improve the scope of its services,” the spokesperson said.