Sources confirm Jones had been considering retirement since January, when the paper first revealed the problems that one morgue staffer described as “sacrilegious.” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle — whose office oversees operations at the morgue — blasted management there.
When the problems were revealed, Preckwinkle dispatched her top aides to investigate and soon called for an overhaul of operations to ensure the delay in indigent burials — one of the problems causing the crowded conditions — were scheduled more regularly and that the body cooler was checked for cleanliness.
At the time, Jones said the 300-capacity cooler was overloaded because of financial woes — namely the state curbing funding that covered the costs of burying the poor. That funding has been restored. Preckwinkle agreed, but still cited management problems.
In the meantime, the county’s independent inspector general also launched a probe, as did the state’s labor department after complaints were made about working conditions at the morgue, 2121 W. Harrison. The inspector general’s findings could be released in a report as soon as this week, sources say.
In the days after the newspaper reported the crowding issues and staff complaints about bodily fluids pooling on the floor of the cooler — a health hazard — a stiff-lipped Preckwinkle pointed the finger at Jones.