30-Day Notice Requirement for Filing Formal Charges With the Merit Board

In Zurek v. Cook County Police & Corrections Merit Board, 42 Ill. App. 3d 1044, 356 N.E.2d 1079, 1 Ill. Dec. 797 (1976), two deputies were disciplined for injuring an inmate in the county jail. Soon after the incident the sheriff summarily suspended the two employees. Then, about six weeks later, the department notified the employees that formal charges had been filed with the merit board. After a hearing, the merit board ordered that one employee be discharged and that the other be suspended for six months. Zurek, 42 Ill. App. 3d at 1045, 356 N.E.2d at 1080. On administrative review, the circuit court found that the merit board had lacked jurisdiction since formal charges were not filed within 30 days of the commencement of the suspensions. The appellate court agreed, holding that 30-day notice was mandatory. Zurek, 42 Ill. App. 3d at 1047-48, 356 N.E.2d at 1082.