Cook County officials accused of retaliating vs juvenile jail officer for reporting crime by supervisor

By Louie Torres | Dec 27, 2017

CHICAGO — A security supervisor at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center is suing Cook County,. the county's Chief Judge Timothy Evans, and other officials at the county JTDC for firing him in retaliation for reporting another supervisor at the JTDC had allegedly illegally brought a firearm into the facility.

Fitzgerald Mullins filed a complaint on Nov. 29 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleging county officials suspended the plaintiff without pay for allegedly reporting an apparent crime to law enforcement.

According to the complaint, Mullins, who had worked at the JTDC since 1992, alleges he was suspended after he refused to agree with senior officials at the JTDC that a scan of the alleged offender's person and handbag revealed a sunglass case, rather than a firearm, on Oct. 7, 2017. Mullins said, while he was security chief in charge that day, he was excluded from participating in the investigation, and the alleged sunglass case was never presented for inventory.

Mullins further alleges his rights to due process were violated during a disciplinary hearing in which he alleges he was not allowed to defend himself, or to see the evidence to prove him wrong, as a way to "send a message to employees not to report crimes to law enforcement, ... if the perpetrator is a high level appointee or friend of" the JTDC director.

The JTDC director is overseen by the Cook County Chief Judge's Office.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks to enjoin the defendants, reinstatement, compensatory damages, withheld pay, lost benefits, including seniority, order the defendants to remove any negative memoranda, notes, documents, letters, etc. from his file, court costs and any further relief this court grants. He is represented by Ivan M. Rittenberg of Rittenberg, Buffen, Gulbrandsen, Robinson & Saks in Chicago and John Thomas Moran Jr. of The Moran Law Group in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2017L012175

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Cook County Cook County Office of the Chief Judge Rittenberg, Buffen, Gulbrandsen, Robinson & Saks LTD

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