While the nation was watching the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation battle, two judges in Cook County made local news for their comments.
The first involves a judge who handles a felony call at 26th Street. From the Sun-Times:
A Cook County judge has been reassigned after he was accused of calling a female prosecutor a “b–ch” and suggesting that he may have had sex with her.
Judge Mauricio Araujo, a criminal court judge, allegedly made the comments on Sept. 11 when the female assistant state’s attorney appeared in his courtroom…
Attached to Foxx’s letter to Martin was a memo that had been sent to Foxx from Steven Block, a bureau chief in the state’s attorney’s office…
According to the memo, the female prosecutor and Araujo were law school classmates more than two decades ago. In law school, Araujo made “unwanted sexual advances” that the prosecutor rejected, the memo says.
“To this day, [the female prosecutor] recalls in detail one of the incidents because of the particularly crude nature of Araujo’s conduct,” Block wrote.
Since that time, the female prosecutor had seen Araujo around the courthouse, but they had not spoken, the memo said.
On the Sept. 11 incident, the female prosecutor was in Araujo’s courtroom for a hearing in a murder case that had been reassigned to Araujo when another judge retired.
Araujo was overheard speaking to his clerk in Spanish and appeared upset and agitated, the memo said. A person interviewed by Brock reported that the judge commented: “She walked in and didn’t give me any congrats or acknowledge me. She acted like she didn’t know who I was.”
Araujo then walked off the bench and into his chambers.
Another assistant state’s attorney in the courtroom was later called into Araujo’s chambers that day with a Chicago police officer to discuss a case. As the judge signed an order for that assistant state’s attorney, he appeared upset and said, “You think you went to f—ing law school with someone, you would think she would say ‘hi’ to you,” according to the memo. Araujo then allegedly called the female prosecutor a “b–ch.”
According to the memo, that assistant state’s attorney did not initially know the judge was referring to a fellow prosecutor and replied, “Maybe she didn’t recognize you in your robe.”
Araujo allegedly responded, “Our law school class had only about 50 people and she can’t say ‘hi’ to me,” and “Well, maybe it’s because I didn’t have sex with her or maybe it’s because I did have sex with her.”
The assistant state’s attorney who heard the comments was “uncomfortable with this interaction and Araujo’s behavior,” and later informed the female prosecutor of the interaction with the judge, the memo says.
Araujo has been reassigned to administrative duty for the time being. Read the entire story here: https://chicago.suntimes.com/?post_type=cst_article&p=1384789
You can read State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s letter and ASA Steven Block’s memo about Judge Araujo here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/ct-read-memo-judge-mauricio-araujo-20180925-htmlstory.html
The second involves a judge who rotates between felony and misdemeanor calls in Rolling Meadows. From WBEZ:
While presiding in a courtroom in Rolling Meadows in July, a white Cook County Circuit Court judge told an African-American criminal defendant, “You were never a slave,” according to court transcripts obtained by WBEZ.
The racially charged comment came from Judge Richard D. Schwind as he sentenced 31-year-old Deon Lindsey in a misdemeanor battery case.
Lindsey admitted hitting his ex-girlfriend’s white brother at her apartment in Hoffman Estates in May. But Lindsey told police he was provoked by being called the N-word, records show.
But the transcript shows Schwind then told Lindsey, “You take offense to a word that — you, you were never a slave, but you take offense to it. And I understand that. But the bigger man walks away. You don’t resort to violence. That’s why society is the way it is now.”
According to a Hoffman Estates police report, Lindsey came to the station on May 25 and told officers that his ex-girlfriend’s brother “called him a ‘n—–.’”
After hearing cases Wednesday in Courtroom 101 in the Rolling Meadows branch, Schwind declined to comment.
But on Thursday, the spokesman for Chief Judge Timothy Evans told WBEZ that the court system’s executive committee will review the matter at its Oct. 3 meeting.
Read the full story here: https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/white-cook-county-judge-tells-black-defendant-you-were-never-a-slave/56832403-3305-488a-ac7d-90cd6115dc98?utm_source=email&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Web-Share