Federal judge imposes oversight on Cook County clerk

  • Karen Yarbrough

    Karen Yarbrough

Associated Press
Updated 4/18/2020 12:20 AM

A federal judge on Friday ordered court oversight for the Cook County clerk's office after determining Clerk Karen Yarbrough has violated anti-patronage hiring rules.

In his decision, U.S. Magistrate Judge Staley Schenkier said Yarbrough, a Democrat, disregarded requirements to post jobs, failed to get court approval for ranking positions and favored people with political pedigrees for open positions.


Schenkier noted Yarbrough implemented a ''rotation policy'' among clerk supervisors of suburban offices under the guise of standardizing operations. The supervisors cited several hardships, including disruptions to family life and long commutes resulted. They argued the policy was implemented to make them so miserable they would quit.

Yarbrough denied Schenkier's assertions and said she will appeal his decision.

Schenkier noted that while Yarbrough was Cook County's recorder of deeds for six years, the office was continuously monitored due to allegations of "unlawful political discrimination." The judge said that is a concern because the clerk's and recorder of deeds offices are to combine in December.

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