Report: Cook County States Attorney Grossly Understaffed as Employees Leave

CCSAO is so short-staffed that supervisors are assigning prospective attorneys who have not yet passed the bar to handle duties typically conducted by assistant state’s attorneys—like presenting allegations during bail hearings at Chicago’s criminal courthouse.

In a pair of reports Wednesday, Fox and NBC Chicago detailed ongoing struggles to fill job vacancies at the state’s attorney’s office.

Fox reported that four prosecutors assigned to approve felony charges for cases brought in by police have quit in the past two weeks. The outlet said three of them quit on the same day.

NBC reported that a courthouse in suburban Bridgeview “should have two Assistant State’s Attorneys for each of the ten courtrooms, but recently there have been only three Assistant State’s Attorneys to cover six or even seven of the courtrooms.”

“We asked for feedback, ‘tell us what you hear, what you feel’ and people told us there are some who are not aligned with the mission and vision of the office,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told NBC.

Foxx has also consistently blamed the COVID pandemic for her office’s wave of resignations.

But a former high-ranking office member, Dan Kirk, had a different thought.

“I hear the feedback from hundreds of people in the office. They’re disgusted, and they can’t take it anymore,” Kirk told NBC. “They’re leaving in droves because they just don’t want to work for this State’s Attorney anymore.”

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