Wednesday, November 14, 2007

No challenges yet, but plenty of challengers in 10th Subcircuit

Challenges are coming in thick and fast in many of the judicial races, both countywide and subcircuit, but in the 10th Subcircuit, the candidates seem to have aligned themselves, selecting their races, with nary a challenge among them.

Merely writing that sentence will probably jinx it, but -- herewith the candidates for the Kowalski vacancy in the 10th Subcircuit. (I'll get to the Morrissey and Pucinski vacancies later.)

Gerald Patrick Cleary is a partner with Smith Amundsen -- not a lawyer for the Northern Trust Bank, as I'd speculated here in an early September post. To that other Gerald P. Cleary, Jr., I apologize; I was led astray by the fact that Candidate Cleary is using Patrick as his middle name professionally these days -- but a different middle name is listed on the ARDC website. (This is not a problem, as this post shows.) Candidate Cleary has been a lawyer since 1989.

The Illinois Supreme Court appointed James Edward Snyder to fill the Kowalski vacancy in March 2007. He ran in the 10th Subcircuit once before, in 2004. Before going on the bench, Snyder was general counsel to the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

Ursula Walowski filed for the Gardner vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit in the 2004 primary, according to an article in the December 23, 2003 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin but did not appear on the ballot. An Assistant State's Attorney, Walowski has been an attorney since 1993. Walowski recently made the news as the prosecutor at the trial of Edward Leak, a former Chicago police officer, who was accused of arranging the murder of a friend and business partner in order to collect on a half million dollars in life insurance. (The Leak trial was also notable in that, according to Sneed's October 23 column in the Chicago Sun-Times, the trial was Patrick Tuite's "swan song." Tuite has moved to New York, according to Sneed.)

Stephen F. Sidlowski works for the Chief Judge's office. He's been a lawyer since 1989. I believe Sidlowski started his legal career in the Public Guardian's office. He was then named, in 1993, fitness review administrator for the Chicago Archdiocese by Cardinal Bernadin, evaluating charges of clerical misconduct. In that capacity Sidlowski was soon required to evaluate the fitness of his boss when Steven Cook made charges of misconduct (ultimately recanted) against Cardinal Bernadin. Sidlowski moved to the Circuit Court in 1995, becoming a hearing officer in the Child Protection Division. The most recent edition of Sullivan's shows his title as Staff Attorney in the Legal Research Division of the Chief Judge's Office.

Update 11/14/07 6:30 pm

Judge Snyder won the ballot lottery today for the top spot for the Kowalski vacancy. He will be followed on the ballot by (in order) Ursula Walowski, Gerald Patrick Cleary, and Stephen F. Sidlowski.


fedup dem said...

Sidlowski was known for his dedication to his job when he was a Juvenile Court Hearing Officer, often staying at his office late into the evening to prepare cases. It is unfortunate that we don't see that sort of dedication in most of the judicial candidates.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Cleary would be in the clear if he switched his middle name from Vernon to Patrick without disclosing that on the face of his petitions as required by law.

He is licensed under Gerald Vernon Cleary and registered to vote under the same Gerald V. Cleary. Obviously he has changed his name or at least is now using one he hasn't before in an attempt to cater to the Irish vote. That was exactly what the new law was designed to prevent.

Anonymous said...

Ken Fletcher is a good vote. He is experienced and nothing clouds his record.

R. Santorini