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More than 200 Cook County Jail COs call in sick on Super Bowl Sunday

Officials said the sick calls accounted for 19 percent of the staff assigned for the day

By C1 Staff

CHICAGO — Nearly 240 COs called in sick for shifts at the Cook County Jail on Super Bowl Sunday.

Authorities told CBS Chicago that 109 officers called in sick for their morning shifts, and 130 more called in sick for second shift. The sick calls accounted for 19 percent of the staff assigned to work that day.

Chief Policy Officer Cara Smith said they prepared for the Super Bowl calls and asked 70 employees who weren’t assigned to work as a backup.

“From an employment and accountability standpoint, it is a devastating situation to be dealing with,” Smith told the news station.

According to Smith, 90 percent of their officers have certified intermittent conditions that are covered under federal law - including migraines and anxiety issues. But some of these ailments are difficult to prove.

“Unless we have some reason to believe that they weren’t suffering from whatever they said they were suffering from – which is protected by federal law – there’s very little that we can do,” she said.