Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Cook County judge, ripped for ‘insensitive’ racial comments, dumped from bench
Secret vote by circuit judges gives new terms to 137 other associate judges, including another rated unqualified.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times
by John Seasly

 

 

 

All but one of 138 associate Cook County judges have won new four-year terms, after a secret vote in which only the county’s circuit judges can vote.

The only one dumped from the bench: Richard Schwind, an associate judge since 2012 who’d been criticized for racially insensitive comments.

Schwind, who didn’t return calls seeking comment, was reassigned last year after telling an African American defendant, charged with assaulting a white man who used a racial slur against him, “You were never a slave, but you take offense to it.”

The Chicago Bar Association had urged the county’s circuit judges not to reappoint Schwind and one other associate judge, Luciano Panici, saying they were the only two judges who sought the group’s approval who weren’t qualified. Before the secret balloting, the bar group had said Schwind’s “statements to minority litigants appearing before him are insensitive, improper and evidence bias.”

Chief Judge Timothy Evans sent the results to the county’s circuit judges on Wednesday. Christopher Bonjean, a spokesman for the Illinois court administration, confirmed the selections.

Associate judges who seek reappointment seldom fail to get it. They need a favorable vote of at least 60% to win a new term.

The percentage of the vote that each judge got is secret, according to Bonjean, under an Illinois Supreme Court rule.

Several circuit judges complained before the vote that they had little information about the performance of their colleagues beyond the bar association ratings.

The bar group had said Panici, the other associate judge it found to be unqualified, “exhibits a casual attitude regarding whether the state has met the burden of proof” and expressed a belief that nearly all of the defendants who appear before him are guilty.

The other judges getting new terms include several whose decisions had brought rebukes from the court system.

Among them: Judge Angela Petrone. Her rulings had been reversed by the Illinois Appellate Court twice for denying new hearings to crime suspects even when the Cook County state’s attorney’s office wasn’t opposing efforts to overturn their convictions amid new evidence that raised doubt about their guilt.

Also reappointed was Judge Stanley Sacks, whose conduct on and off the bench had been criticized. Sacks once swore at a police officer who was on trial, which Evans called “an egregious lapse” at the time.

Sacks’ rulings have repeatedly been reversed on appeal, Injustice Watch and the Chicago Sun-Times have reported, in some instances for summarily dismissing the claims of prisoners that they had been wrongly convicted. In one case, Sacks rejected the claim of two men that they’d been tortured into falsely confessing to a double murder — and the men ultimately were exonerated after the appellate court reversed him and, finding he should no longer hear the case, sent their cases to a different judge.

The Watchdogs

Investigations of City Hall, county government, politicians, education, business and pocketbook issues affecting taxpayers and consumers.

As the voting took place starting late last month, Panici wrote the circuit judges that his bar association rating was “clearly erroneous.”

The circuit judges also heard from one of their colleagues, Judge Stephen A. Kozicki, who wrote that Schwind had an “excellent reputation for honesty and fairness,” recently served as a lector at Sunday Mass and was an excellent father and husband.

Partly in response to these letters, Circuit Judge Robert Balanoff had urged his fellow voters to “Vote NO on Schwind and Panici,” citing negative bar association evaluations.

”If they are retained, how would we explain that 60% of us thought this behavior was acceptable for a judge in Cook County?” Balanoff wrote.

On Wednesday, Balanoff said he’s glad his colleagues followed the bar group’s recommendation in deciding Schwind should go but disagreed on the reappointment of Panici.

”We all have to decide on what type of judiciary we want,” Balanoff said.

John Seasly reports for Injustice Watch, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit journalism organization that conducts in-depth research to expose institutional failures that obstruct justice and equality.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

NEW ILLINOIS LAW ENDS $120 FEE TO CLEAR FALSE CRIMINAL RECORDS IN COOK COUNTY
Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
WTTW News

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Report: Incarceration Rates Drop Nearly 20% Under Kim Foxx
Monday, July 29, 2019
WTTW Chicago

Lightfoot blames bond court reform for gun violence
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Chicago Reporter

Cook County Health Hires Audit Firm To Review Scathing Inspector General Report
Thursday, July 25, 2019
WBEZ News

Former County Commissioner Shocked Animal Abuser Registry He Worked To Create Was Never Used
Thursday, July 25, 2019
CBS Chicago

No one on County Board sharing Arroyo’s view of inspector general
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP