The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

There's A New Sheriff In Town

By Amy Hart in News on Nov 22, 2005 3:45PM


Okay, so not yet, but there will be.

Yesterday Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan announced that he will not run for reelection next year.

Sheahan was elected as alderman of the 19th ward in 1979 before becoming sheriff in 1990. In the mid 90s Sheahan was praised for relieving jail overcrowding, creating a boot camp for nonviolent offenders, and combating child sexual abuse. Recently the Cook County Sheriff’s office has been plagued by reports of police misconduct, including a cover-up of prisoner abuse.

Sheahan’s announcement to not seek a fifth term came as a shock, but Sheahan felt it was time to go, saying, “You feel sometimes it's time, and after you've been in public life as long as I have, you get that feeling.” At least he didn’t use the corny, “spend more time with my family” excuse.

So who is likely to run in Sheahan’s place? Cook County Democrats were not thrilled with Sheahan’s suggestion of his chief of staff, Tom Dart. Other possibilities include Chicago Police Superintendent Terry Hillard and Secretary of State Inspector General Jim Burns.

So what’s next for Sheahan? He originally was considering running for Cook County Board president, but decided against it once President Stroger announced his reelection campaign. He’s not ruling out running for office again, and some have speculated he might have his sights set on the state treasurer’s office, an idea he dismissed. Chicagoist has a feeling Sheahan isn’t going away for long.