The Human Resources Department is responsible for the Forest Preserves’ hiring, employee relations, change management, conflict resolution, labor relations, performance management and employee recognition.
On this page:
- About the Department
- Jobs & Hiring
- What are the Shakman Decrees?
- Office of the Independent Inspector General (OIIG)
- Uniform Political Contact Log
- Director of Compliance
About the Department
Personnel Services establishes human resources policies and procedures, recommends staffing levels and recruitment options. Personnel Services also implements equal employment opportunity practices, administers disciplinary procedures and assists with internal investigations and compliance reviews.
Employee/Staff Support assesses organizational goals and individual development needs. This includes training programs, department performance evaluations, and opportunities for employees to participate in a variety of special programs, including charitable, civic and social activities.
Jobs & Hiring
- Employment Plan (PDF)
- Supplemental Policies Manual (PDF)
- 2023 2nd Quarter Employment Report (PDF)
- Eighth Amended List of Shakman-Exempt Positions (PDF)
- Shakman-Exempt Job Descriptions (PDF)
What are the “Shakman Decrees”?
In 1969, a federal civil lawsuit titled Michael L. Shakman, et al. vs. Democratic Organization of Cook County, et al., case number 69 C 2145 (“the Shakman case”), was filed by a group of plaintiffs against various defendants including Cook County and the current District Compliance Administrator, Jan Carlson, then the Circuit Court Clerk of Kane County.
In 1978, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County entered into a Consent Decree with the plaintiffs to resolve some of the claims made in the lawsuit. That Consent Decree specifically prohibited the District from “conditioning or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment (with respect to persons once hired) upon or because of any political reason or factor.”
A subsequent Consent Decree was entered in 1994 that extended these prohibitions to include the districts hiring practices, with certain exclusions. These agreements have collectively come to be known as the “Shakman Decrees”. The Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has retained jurisdiction over the case. The Court’s powers include the power to enforce the Consent Decrees.
On January 14th, 2009, Judge Wayne Andersen, with the agreement of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and the plaintiffs, entered a Supplemental Relief Order (SRO) in the Shakman case. The SRO is intended to ensure that the District complies with hiring and employment practices as they relate to political consideration, and to adjudicate claims of political discrimination.
On February 4, 2013, the Court entered an agreed order finding that Substantial Compliance had been achieved by the District. The order dissolved the District’s 1994 Consent Decree, dissolved the District’s 2009 SRO, and dismissed the District from the lawsuit.
Office of the Independent Inspector General (OIIG)
The mission of the OIIG is to detect, deter and prevent corruption, fraud, waste, mismanagement, unlawful political discrimination and misconduct in the operation of Cook County government with integrity, independence, professionalism and respect for both the rule of law and the people we serve. The OIIG conducts investigations and issues findings and recommendations to Cook County government officials. The OIIG also investigates potential criminal violations involving the conduct of Cook County employees acting in their official capacities and refers such matters for prosecution. Because the OIIG is a fact-finding agency, it cannot dictate a legal outcome.
The OIIG also serves as a liaison between the County and outside law enforcement authorities and prosecutorial agencies when cases are referred.
The OIIG’s jurisdiction includes employees, elected and appointed officials in the performance of their official duties, as well as contractors and subcontractors doing or seeking to do business with the Cook County government.
If you have information concerning corruption, fraud, waste, mismanagement, and/or employee misconduct (whether it involves a violation of County policy, criminal law, or both) in the operation of Cook County government, we encourage you to file a complaint. This may include employees, elected and appointed officials in the performance of their official duties, as well as contractors and subcontractors doing or seeking to do business with Cook County government. For more information, visit the OIIG website.
Complaints can be submitted to the OIIG in any of the following ways:
- Online: OIIG website
- Fax: 312-603-9744
- Mail: Office of the Independent Inspector General, 69 W. Washington Street, Suite 1160, Chicago, IL 60602
- Complaint Hotline: 877-IGTIPLN (877-448-4756) or 312-603-0745
- Appointment: to schedule an appointment to file a complaint in person, call 312-603-0350
Uniform Political Contact Log
On April 18, 2011, Cook County Board and Forest Preserve District Board President, Toni Preckwinkle along with Independent Inspector General, Patrick Blanchard; Cook County Compliance Administrator, Mary Robinson; and District Compliance Administrator, Jan Carlson announced the introduction and distribution of a uniform Political Contact Log to employees under the jurisdiction of the County Board President, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (“Health System”) and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (“District”).
In order to further the goal of eliminating unlawful political discrimination in government and to foster a transparent, honest and fair employment process, Cook County, District and the Health System wish to reaffirm their joint goal of eliminating unlawful political discrimination and to remind County and District employees and officials of their obligations to log certain political contacts and to use the Political Log when documenting certain political contacts.
President Preckwinkle is committed to upholding the prohibition against politically-related persons and organizations influencing or attempting to influence employment actions involving employees deemed “non-exempt” for purposes of this prohibition.
Director of Compliance
As required under the Employment Plan, the Forest Preserve District hired a Director of Compliance whose responsibilities include the following:
- Overseeing compliance with the Employment Plan;
- Maintaining and reviewing the Exempt List;
- Accepting, investigating, and reporting on complaints related to Employment Plan;
- Reporting instances of unlawful political discrimination; and
- Training on Employment Plan and Supplemental Policies.
If you would like to make a complaint, a complaint form is available below, or you can contact the Director of Compliance directly.
The Director of Compliance is also responsible for ensuring that the Forest Preserve District responds to reports issued by the Office of the Independent Inspector General or reports issued by the Director of Compliance. These General Superintendent Reports are available to the public upon request.
Director of Compliance
Forest Preserve District of Cook County
69 W. Washington, Ste. 2010
Chicago IL 60602