County Clerk Compliance Administrator

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The Appointment of Cardelle Spangler


In his April 17, 2020 Opinion and Order addressing the Plaintiff’s motion, United States Magistrate Judge Sidney I. Schenkier appointed Cardelle Spangler as County Clerk Compliance Administrator (“CCCA”). The Court directed the CCCA and her staff to: (1) Work with the County Clerk (and attorneys for the Plaintiffs) to develop a list of Shakman exempt positions to be approved by the court; (2) Review the County Clerk’s personnel policy, monitor its application, identify problems, and recommend revisions to address those problems; (3) Recommend policies to govern the solicitation and reporting of political donations or support; (4) Review the incorporation of the Recorder of Deeds into the County Clerk to determine, among other things, whether political considerations are improperly used in deciding which Recorder’s Office non-exempt employees are retained by the County Clerk; and (5) Make recommendations as to how to remedy any violations of the Consent Orders the CCCA may find while conducting her duties.

If you wish to speak with or submit information to the CCCA, you may access our contact information by clicking on “Contact” above or the button below.

Brief History of County Clerk-Specific Shakman Litigation

In 1969, the Shakman lawsuit was filed against various defendants, including the County Clerk. As a result of that suit, on May 5, 1972, a number of governmental entities in Illinois, including the County Clerk, entered into a consent decree barring them from “conditioning, basing or knowingly prejudicing or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment, with respect to one who is at the time already a governmental employee, upon or because of any political reason or factor” (“1972 Consent Decree”).

On November 1, 1991, the County Clerk entered into a separate consent judgment that similarly barred it from “conditioning, basing or knowingly prejudicing or affecting the hiring of any person as a Governmental Employee (other than Exempt Positions), upon or because of any political reason or factor…” (“1991 Consent Judgment”). Both the 1972 Consent Decree and the 1991 Consent Judgment (“Consent Decrees”) remain in effect.

The Shakman lawsuit is ongoing and on September 6, 2019, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for supplemental relief, alleging the County Clerk violated the 1972 Consent Decree and 1991 Consent Judgment in various ways, and requested the appointment of a compliance administrator to ensure the Clerk complied with the Consent Decrees.

The Court determined that the Clerk violated the Consent Decrees by subjecting supervisors without political pedigree to an unlawful rotation policy between the suburban and downtown offices, making unilateral changes to its Shakman Exempt list without Court approval, and hiring individuals to non-Shakman Exempt positions that were not publicly posted. Based on these conclusions, the Court determined the appointment of a Compliance Administrator was warranted.

The Cook County Clerk and the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County are separate governmental entities, both currently under Shakman oversight. If you are looking for information regarding the Compliance Administrator for the Clerk of the Circuit Court, please visit: