Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times has a story with more details about the Markham Courthouse judge who let a law clerk (who is running unopposed for Cook County Judge this November) to take her place on the bench.
I have re-ordered a few of the paragraphs to give you the gist. Click on the link above to read the whole story. The way I see it, Judge Turner was probably taking pride in mentoring the longtime courthouse law clerk who is about to become a judge but crossed a major line when she allowed Crawford to take her place, even if it was for a couple of minor tickets. In essence, Judge Turner was just previewing what soon to be Judge Crawford will be doing at Traffic Court next December or January, which is learning how to handle a traffic call — assuming that she will be allowed to take the bench after this incident.
Sources say Crawford was informally “job shadowing” Turner to learn how to perform a judge’s duties when Turner allowed her to take the bench and rule on some cases.
Evans’ office did not disclose whether Turner remained in the courtroom while Crawford took the bench.
Unfortunately, their “training session” was about four months premature….
A spokesman for Evans said the Aug. 11 incident involved “two minor traffic tickets — one for driving with no insurance and another for driving on a median.” Evans did not reveal how Crawford ruled in those cases, but his spokesman indicated both cases will be heard again by another judge….
Crawford, 45, won the Democratic nomination in March for a judgeship from the 1st judicial subcircuit, which includes portions of the South Side and south suburbs.
With no opponent in the November election, Crawford is certainly expected to win the office. But she and other new judges won’t be sworn in until December and have no authority until they are.
Crawford received 47 percent of the vote to beat out two other candidates in the primary despite being rated “not recommended” by all of the major bar groups after she declined to participate in their evaluation process. She defeated the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate.
During the campaign, Crawford described herself as a staff attorney for the Cook County Circuit Court and assigned as a law clerk in the Markham courthouse…
Crawford, who lives in Calumet City, became a lawyer in 2003 after graduating from Chicago Kent College of Law. Prior to that, she was a registered nurse.
I am curious to see what consequences, if any there will be for this. I am guessing just a written reprimand for the Judge and Ms. Crawford. The key is that I don’t believe that either of them had any bad intent in doing this. It was part of a mentoring process that went too far.
I am also curious to find out how this got to the attention of Chief Judge Evans, and whether that person will face retaliation for whistle-blowing.