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Preckwinkle Nominates Amy Campanelli for a 6-Year Term as Cook County Public Defender
Campanelli’s Experience includes 23 Years in the Public Defender’s Office

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will nominate Amy Campanelli to serve as the new Cook County Public Defender at today’s Board of Commissioners meeting. Campanelli, a 23-year veteran of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, is currently serving as the Deputy of Suburban Operations for the Law Office, where she manages more than 150 assistant public defenders, supervisors, chiefs, support staff and investigators and oversees all specialty/therapeutic courts. Commissioners are expected to consider Campanelli’s appointment during the April 1 County Board meeting.

“I am pleased to nominate Amy Campanelli to this critically important position. Our criminal justice system relies on the vigorous defense of the accused by the men and women of the Public Defender’s Office. Throughout her nearly 30 years practicing law, Amy has proven herself to be a relentless advocate for her clients. She is passionate about the work of the Public Defender’s Office, and fully committed to our ongoing efforts to reform the County’s criminal justice system,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“I have dedicated my life to representing the indigent accused and I know that fairness and justice are the most critical components of our criminal justice system,” said Campanelli. “I am humbled to be able to do this great work and am grateful to President Preckwinkle for trusting me to lead this office of well-trained, compassionate, and courageous attorneys, investigators and administrative staff who fight for justice every day.”

In addition to her current role, Campanelli has experience in all divisions of the Public Defender’s Office, including Juvenile, Felony Trial, Capital and Homicide Cases. She serves as the office liaison between all suburban police departments, the Cook County Department of Corrections and the Sex Offender Management Board for the State of Illinois. She is a mental health specialist and has conducted numerous trainings for attorneys. Campanelli received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and her JD from the Kent College of Law.

“In over two decades of service as an Assistant Public Defender, Amy Campanelli has established herself as a tireless advocate for her clients and outstanding leader of law office personnel. Her experience at every level of the office has given her the ability to develop expertise in related criminal justice areas and work collaboratively with stakeholders, leading to appointments representing the office on various boards, professional settings and trainings. Her demonstrated commitment to the office and the people of Cook County is legend. I commend President Preckwinkle for her nomination of Amy Campanelli as the Cook County Public Defender,” said Edwin Burnette, former Cook County Public Defender from 2003-2009.

Campanelli was one of three finalists identified by a search committee appointed by President Preckwinkle in December 2014 to help select Cook County’s next Public Defender.

Preckwinkle also acknowledged outgoing Public Defender Abishi Cunningham. “There is no doubt that serving as the Public Defender is a tough job and I am grateful to Abishi Cunningham for his service and his partnership over the past 6 years. I wish him all the best on his future endeavors.”



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