October 28, 1969, a lawsuit entitled Michael Shakman, et al., v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, et al., No. 69 C 2145 (N.D. Ill.) was filed seeking the court to prohibit the Cook County Assessor’s Office (“Assessor’s Office”), among other defendants, from conditioning, basing or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment upon or because of any political reason or factor.
In 1972 and 1995, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered Consent Decrees with respect to the Assessor’s Office, prohibiting the conditioning, basing or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment upon or because of any political reason or factor. Those Consent Decrees provided that the Court retained jurisdiction with respect to, among other matters, issues of political hiring and the designation of a number of positions which should be exempt from the prohibitions established under the Consent Decrees.
On August 15, 2012, the Assessor’s Office agreed to the entry of an Agreed Order by the District Court. The Agreed Order provides a framework for the Assessor’s Office to implement additional policies and procedures to assure that all aspects of employment are free from unlawful political discrimination.