Inspectors on a surprise visit to the Cook County morgue caught night shift workers asleep on the job and watching movies on county computers, according to report released Tuesday by county Inspector General Patrick Blanchard.
On the May 3 visit to the already beleaguered Cook County morgue, inspectors found certain overnight intake workers "nodding off" and napping out cold while at their post; others were watching a Bruce Lee movie instead of working. The Chicago Tribune reports county investigators also found "thousands of hidden documents dating as far back as 2004" that were supposed to have been entered into a computer.
All but one of the employees seen seen sleeping have been placed on temporary suspension.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, further interviews on the matter revealed that such behavior is not an isolated occurrence.
The Medical Examiner's office has been under a microscope ever since reports of bodies being "stacked in a storage cooler" surfaced earlier this year. Once word got out, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle assured some in the office "will lose their jobs" as a result of incident, ultimately leading to the ousting of two top administrators.
Another note in Blanchard's report indicates Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios rebuffed a subpoena from Blanchard's office for an unrelated investigation; Berrios handled the matter being investigated internally. It's the second time Berrios has insisted he's not beholden to the ethics board's standards because he is independently elected. In June, Berros was found in violation of county ethics rules for hiring his son and sister, and fined $10,000.
Blanchard's report highlights other incidents, reported in the Tribune, that include nepotism and fraud.