Shakman Compliance


       On 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. It asked the court to prohibit the Cook County Assessor's Office and other governmental entities from conditioning, basing, or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment upon or because of any political reason or factor. In 1972 and in 1975, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois agreed and entered Consent Decrees with respect to the Assessor's Office. The Court also retained jurisdiction of the case to oversee issues of political hiring - among them how many and which positions should be exempt from the Court's prohibitions in the Consent Decrees.

On August 15, 2012, the Assessor's Office agreed to the entry of an Agreed Order by the District Court. It 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.

Employment Plan

       To advance the goal of bringing the Assessor's Office into compliance with the Court's orders, the Office is developing an Employment Plan. It will include the general principles that will govern the Assessor's Office's hiring and employment policies and will apply to current and future employees. The plan will also implement pro-active and transparent policies, practices, and procedures that address the prohibition and influence of political reasons and factors in the employment process. A copy of the plan, when approved, will be posted here.

In addition, Assessor Joseph Berrios has signed two Executive Orders prohibiting political discrimination and protecting those who complain from any kind of retaliation.

Exempt Positions

       An exempt position is one that involves policy making to an extent or is confidential in such a way that political affiliation is an appropriate consideration for the effective performance of the job

This is a list of exempt positions in the Assessor's Office.

Exempt positions List

Duty to Report

       All employees of the Assessor's Office have a duty to report any political contact made with them in an attempt to influence employment actions in the workplace. Please click on the Political Contact Log Reporting link below for further information and/or to report any such contact.

Opportunity to File Complaint

       Any person - including a current employee or an applicant for a position at the Assessor's Office- who believes he/she has been subject to unlawful political discrimination may file a complaint. Please click here for further information and/or to complete the form:

Assessor's Compliance Administrator: Honorable Clifford Meachem | Email:
69 W. Washington, Suite 840 Chicago, IL 60602
Shakman Plaintiff's Counsel: Roger Fross, Locke Lord LLP
111 S. Wacker Dr. Suite 4100 Chicago, Il 60606
Cook County Counsel: Lisa M. Meador and Thomas E. Nowinski
Cook County State's Attorney's Office
500 Richard Daley Center Chicago, IL 60602