An intrepid Illinois sheriff has hired prostitutes on his county's dime, but it's not what you might think.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is working with two former "ladies of the night" in an effort to get information on Chicago-area pimps.
"We were trying to use our brains" to fight prostitution, Dart said.
The former prostitutes are also sharing their stories to teach women that they don't have to earn a living by selling their bodies.
In a pair of stings this year, sheriff's deputies arrested 11 women. Two of those arrestees accepted the county's offer of work to help get them off the streets. The other nine received a phone number for the Department of Women’s Justice Services, which connects the women to social service and substance abuse assistance agencies.
In his effort to stem the tide of prostitution, Dart is also suing online advertising site Craigslist. Ads for illicit sex are "rampant" on the site, Dart claims. The site has already removed it's "erotic services" section.
Dart, who has been sheriff for about two years, was on Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People of 2009 for refusing to evict people who live in foreclosed homes.