Sheriff Tom Dart is the best qualified person to be President of of Cook County Board. Tom Dart is a brilliant young man and a good guy to the bargain. He is collegial, tough, courteous but no push-over.
Like Speaker Madigan, and any true public servant, Tom Dart plays things close to the vest.
Tom Dart has slowly climbed the Chicago political gradus and has developed the skills to allow him to be effective.
Tom Dart was President Obama's roommate and colleague in Springfield while working to reform the looming pay-day-loan catastrophe that is now Tsunami'd into a National Storm of Debt. Dart's Bi-Partisan efforts were smothered by political self-interests. The Zip-code was declared Racist by Rev. Jess Jackson and the hand -wringers went along on the disaster train. Tom Dart warned of this impending crisis ten years ago.
Tom Dart is Cook County Sheriff - the most thankless and ugly job on the planet.
However, the source of the sewer is the Cook County Board. A Sheriff is needed so the next Sheriff can avoid having the same clowns who killed phony pay-day-loan legislation undermine that job.
Tom Dart's predecessor had these clowns and their lawyers, and think tanks and journalist stooges bed-bugging his efforts to improve Cook County Law Enforcement twenty-four hours a day.
I love Paul Vallas, but he gave the job a duck. God Bless Him! Forrest Claypool passed on it. Forrest will be fine. He's always fine. Toni Preckwinkle could not find a Chinaman on 22nd Street, but so wants to sit in Todd's Chair. Todd Stoger . . .ah, Jaysus, the poor thing.
Cook County could use someone who took the time to learn how to lead. That is Tom Dart. Tom Dart could fix the Cook County Mess. There will still be greedy, back-stabbing oppotunists buzzing around him, like President Obama's Late Mr. Fly, but the skilled, honest and professional Mr. Dart can handle them - and PETA as well.
Dart began his career in public service as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, where he prosecuted hundreds of felony crimes during his five years with the office. As part of his duties he was assigned to prosecute crimes in the South Suburbs, where he helped initiate a massive investigation of corruption in the town of Ford Height’s Police Department, leading to the indictment of the chief and several of the towns police officers. Coincidentally in 2008, Sheriff Dart’s took over police protection in Ford Heights because of ongoing problems with the town’s police department.
By 1991, Dart had moved to the Illinois General Assembly when he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the State Senate. The next year, he ran for elected office for the first time and won a seat in the Illinois House, representing a diverse district on Chicago’s South Side that included communities like Roseland, Pullman, Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood, Calumet Park, and portions of Blue Island.In Springfield, Dart quickly developed a reputation as a reform minded legislator who was willing to take on the state bureaucracy.
He served as chief sponsor of more than a dozen new child welfare laws that helped restructure the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. And, as an indication of things to come, Dart turned his attention to matters related to law enforcement. As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, he sponsored Mayor Daley’s Safe Neighborhood Act and authored several state laws designed to crackdown on child sex offenders, including a statute that targeted child predators who use the Internet to lure young victims. He also wrote the Sexually Violent Predators Commitment Act, a groundbreaking law that enable judges to deny freedom to sexual predators and detain them in state mental health facilities if they were deemed likely to commit new sex crimes after being released from prison.
Dart received dozens of honors for his work in the legislature, including the Illinois State Bar Association’s President’s Commendation and “Legislator of the Year Awards” from several groups, including the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois State Crime Commission, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Chicago Sun Times columnist Steve Neal referred to Dart as an “impact player” during his decade of service in the Illinois House.
Dart left the legislature in 2003 after an unsuccessful campaign for Illinois State Treasurer and was appointed to serve as Chief of Staff Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan. In 2006 Dart was elected to a four-year term as the new Sheriff of Cook County after Sheahan retired.
As Sheriff, Dart has enacted a variety of new policy initiatives. Among the many changes are an institution of psychological testing for entry level recruits, installing new technology in the Cook County Jail and court facilities throughout Cook County, and the creation of a weapons free committee to target the widespread use of homemade knives and shanks in the jail.
Under Dart’s directive, the Sheriff’s Police have initiated a variety of stings, crackdowns, and investigations of criminal activity. He has been in the forefront in breaking up dog fighting rings and presided over the arrests of prostitution rings that use the internet as their advertising arm.
Dart holds a J.D. from Loyola University and a Bachelor’s Degree in History and General Social Studies from Providence College. He and his wife Patricia reside in Chicago and are the proud parents of four children.