A Cook County Department of Corrections officer is suspended without pay after an investigation by the Sheriff's Office of Professional Review determined he fraudulently used the Family Medical Leave Act to improperly get numerous days off work, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Wednesday.
Dart is now seeking the firing of correctional officer Alexander Perteete of Hammond, Indiana.
Perteete, who was hired in 2004, was approved for FMLA in September 2015 after submitting documentation from his doctor related to an intermittent medical condition. Dart's office did not disclose the nature of the medical issue.
The sheriff's office said an investigation determined that between Jan. 1, 2016 and July 13, 2017, Perteete used the FMLA more than 60 times either before or after a regular day off or vacation time (14 times), on a Sunday (21 times), on a Saturday (16 times) and on a Monday (10 times).
The investigation specifically found that Perteete used FMLA to miss work, supplement vacations and attend holiday events, according to the sheriff's office.
On Mother's Day 2016, Perteete called in to excuse himself from a shift starting at 3 p.m., the sheriff's office said. OPR investigators found that at 2:41 p.m. he posted a link on Facebook to an NBC5 news story about correctional officer call-offs at the Cook County Jail on Mother's Day. Later that afternoon, he posted a video on Facebook from the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, Indiana and claimed in the comments that his mother was "hitting it big" there, according to the sheriff.
Investigators also found Perteete called off work using FMLA while on trips to Miami and Cancun, the sheriff's office alleges.
From April 2012 to August 2017, Perteete also held full-time employment at Health Resource Solutions, the sheriff's office said. Investigators found that Perteete called in FMLA 11 times to excuse himself from a shift at the jail while finishing a shift at HRS, according to Dart's office.