Chicago, IL

Cook County Sherrif Was Fired Because of his Age

Political Sense Illinois

Sheriff Tom Dart faces a discrimination complaint from a former Cook County sheriff's assistant chief who claims he was dismissed because of his age.

Ronald Gaines, the electronic monitoring unit's assistant chief, filed a federal lawsuit against the county, Dart, and the unit's supervisor Carmen Ruffin on Thursday.

Dart's administration is accused of violating age discrimination laws when it fired Gaines in March, according to the lawsuit.

Dart's office refuted the allegation, claiming that the official was dismissed for leaving a job without authorization.

“It was a slap in the face,” Gaines, said in a news conference on Tuesday. “I take it as a personal attack against me and my integrity. I take it a personal attack against my family who all stand in law enforcement.”

According to the lawsuit, Gaines claims that in August 2019, Ruffin, the executive director of community corrections, said comments to the effect that (Gaines) was too old to be working at CCSO.

Gaines claims she also mentioned the pension he'll get from Chicago police, his former job, and questioned why he didn't resign.

“I can’t explain how that affected my family,” Gaines said. “You’re told after giving years of service that you will be without the (health insurance) coverage for a sick wife that I had, or for myself, within a matter of weeks. Not knowing the reasoning behind it.”

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