Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans announced this afternoon that, pursuant to action taken today by the Executive Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge Valarie E. Turner has been temporarily reassigned to duties other than judicial duties in the office of the Presiding Judge of the First Municipal District, Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. The assignment is effective until further notice.
According to the Chief Judge's press release, Judge Turner allegedly allowed attorney Rhonda Crawford, a law clerk/staff attorney employed with the Office of the Chief Judge, "to adjudicate at least two cases from the bench while wearing a judicial robe in Judge Turner’s courtroom." Crawford has likewise been suspended without pay from her current job, according to the Chief Judge's press release.
Rhonda Crawford's name should be familiar to FWIW readers: This past March, Crawford defeated two other candidates, including a judge sitting pursuant to Supreme Court appointment, for the Hopkins vacancy in the 1st Subcircuit. Crawford faced no Republican opponent in November. She was on track to assume judicial office for real on the first Monday in December.
Crawford did not participate in either the CBA or Alliance candidate screenings and was unanimously rated not qualified or not recommended as a result.
An image of the Order entered by the Circuit Court today on this matter follows below (click to enlarge or clarify):
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