SEIU head Morrison to answer battery charges in court
Jerry Morrison, executive director of the deep-pocketed, politically influential Service Employees International Union (SEIU), is scheduled to appear in Cook County Court on Wednesday on a charge of misdemeanor battery involving an off-duty Chicago police officer.
Morrison allegedly struck the 49-year-old victim with an umbrella in City Hall’s lobby on June 26, 2018, and caused bodily harm, according to a summary of a case report provided by the Chicago Police Department (CPD). (CPD does not identify victims in case report summaries; he was identified as an off-duty police officer by Chicago City Wire sources.) The alleged attack occurred at approximately 2 p.m.
A spokesperson for the CPD said that Morrison, 53, yelled insults at the victim—including calling him a “fascist”—before striking him. The case is scheduled to go before Judge Joseph Panarese of the Misdemeanor Section, Circuit Court of Cook County at 5555 West Grand Ave., Chicago at 1 p.m.
Morrison was not placed under arrest until over a month after the alleged attack; he turned himself in on Aug. 7. CPD could not account for the lapse in time between the alleged attack and the arrest.
Morrison’s court appearance was originally scheduled for October but it was continued while he secured counsel.
The CPD spokesperson also said that Morrison was jailed briefly in 1983 on battery charges but would not provide the circumstances.
In Illinois, battery is punished as a Class A misdemeanor offense, according to criminallawyerillinois.com. The maximum sentence for a battery charge is one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
SEIU contributes generously to progressive political candidates. On January 8, the Chicago Sun-Times, a union-owned paper, reported that the SEIU Illinois State Council dropped $500,000 into Toni Preckwinkle’s mayoral campaign. The contribution was in addition to $1 million the union had already donated to the campaign. The union told the Sun-Times that more money is on the way.