Employees sue Cook County sheriff for discrimination

9:27 AM EDT, August 6, 2012



Opening arguments are expected Monday afternoon in a federal trial stemming from a lawsuit accusing Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart of political discrimination.

The suit was filed by 21 employees from the department's elite Special Operation Response Team, who claim the unit was disbanded because they supported Dart's opponent in the 2006 primary election.

The unit was disbanded two weeks after the election. The plaintiffs call that political retribution.

They say elimination of the unit cost them overtime pay and possible promotions and subjected them to unfair discipline and harassment.

Other high ranking department officials are also named as defendants.