Jail guard helped prisoners escape

A former correctional officer at Cook County Jail was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Thursday for helping six inmates escape in 2006.

Darin Gater, 41, was convicted of six counts of official misconduct in May after a bench trial before Circuit Judge James Obbish.

Gater turned over his uniform and keys to inmates and handcuffed himself in a cell to make it appear he had been overpowered, according to prosecutors. An inmate wore Gater's uniform and tricked another guard into opening a door.

All six escapees were recaptured in a little more than 24 hours. Prosecutors said Gater hoped the scheme would embarrass then-Sheriff Michael Sheahan and his chief of staff, Tom Dart, who was running against a candidate favored by Gater and is now the sheriff.

from the Trib

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