Karen Yarbrough/Michael Shakman

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough and attorney Michael Shakman [Heather Cherone / The Daily Line; provided]

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough must overhaul hiring protocols until an independent monitor is satisfied that political patronage has been totally purged from her office, a federal judge ruled Friday.

In one of his last court opinions before he retires at the end of April, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier wrote that anti-patronage attorney Michael Shakman found evidence to “suggest the improper use of political considerations” in Yarbrough’s office, violating the terms of a 1972 consent decree and subsequent 1991 court order that stemmed from Shakman’s long-running lawsuit against Cook County government.

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