This past week, a senior Cook County prosecutor announced his resignation, stating he “can’t continue to work for an administration I don’t respect.” After 25 years of service, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Jim Murphy resigned on Friday, citing his inability to continue working for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who he claimed was “more concerned with political narratives and agendas than with victims and prosecuting violent crime.” “That is why I can’t stay any longer,” Murphy added.
He expressed his desire to continue working in an office-wide resignation letter that CWB Chicago was able to get. I am unable to work for this Administration any longer, nevertheless. In leadership, I have no faith.
He described one event a few months ago when Foxx summoned him to a meeting to examine bond hearings he had participated in, including one involving a “huge shootout” in which a woman heading to a store was tragically shot when she was caught in the gunfire.
Foxx was upset during the discussion about a newspaper headline that claimed a suspect would not be charged with murder due to the “Safe-T Act,” which necessitates that prosecutors reach a higher standard of proof in order to detain suspects until trial, according to the letter.
The problem with this administration is that. I’ve seen it day after day,” added Murphy. How many shootings in broad daylight must there be before action is taken?
Murphy cited a number of factors as the cause of his resignation, including the Safe-T Act, Foxx’s hasty decision to abolish cash bail while ignoring his objections, and the “dangerously” low staffing levels in all departments and bureaus within Foxx’s office, including one- or two-person courtrooms.
He wrote that if the administration was sincere about properly combating violent crime, “they would fully staff those courtrooms and departments.” “In the meantime, the rest of us are overburdened, stressed out, and lacking in resources. Nevertheless, at least we were permitted to wear jeans in July.
The retirement comes weeks after Foxx, according to the Chicago Tribune, informed lawmakers at a county board committee hearing that 235 individuals, including attorneys, had left her office since July of last year. In contrast, 130 employees left their jobs the year before the pandemic.
The research states that from January 2020 to June 2022, around one-third of the assistant state’s attorney (ASA) positions were open and filled. Although the office hired 280 lawyers during that time, pre-pandemic staffing levels have still not been achieved.
The report listed a number of causes for the high turnover, including dissatisfaction over the Jussie Smollett hate-crime fake case and how leadership handled the public outcry over a bond proposal connected to the police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo last year. For claiming in court that Toledo was carrying a pistol when the officer opened fire, Murphy was given a leave of absence in April 2021. When Toledo was shot by Police Officer Eric Stillman, it was evident from bodycam film that he had dropped a gun and was raising his hands.
Natosha Toller, the head of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, resigned, further deflating morale.
One prosecutor told the newspaper, “We’re so short of attorneys, there’s twice as much work with no support.” And you’re actually setting folks up to fail. Anything has the potential to go wrong. The expectations are too high.
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