Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Chief Judge Evans to face challenge in reelection bid?

The Chicago Tribune reports this morning that Judge Thomas R. Allen will attempt to unseat Judge Timothy C. Evans as Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Judge Allen, like Judge Evans a former Chicago Alderman, was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to a countywide vacancy in late 2010 and thereafter elected to the Circuit Court from the 10th Subcircuit (running without opposition in the 2012 primary and general elections). Judge Allen is currently assigned to the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court.

The full judges of the circuit vote on who will be their chief. The election will be held next month. Since becoming Chief Judge in 2001, Judge Evans has only faced one prior reelection challenge, that from former Judge William D. Maddux in 2010.

Update 8/3/16: Herewith, the link to Mark Brown's coverage of the potential challenge in the Chicago Sun-Times.


Anonymous said...

I remember being stunned that Allen was appointed to Chancery (one of the most intellectually-demanding divisions in the Cook Country judiciary) after having served only two years in probate.

The guy does not lack for ambition . . .

Anonymous said...

Sorry Jack but this black lady who reads is going to shake all the curls out of her naturally curly hair. This is sheer malarkiness (new urban dictionary word here folks). I kept asking about Murphy's emails. Now we get a hint in the paper. I no less read about the let's take our circuit courts back mess with the Judge Evans revolt. The judge (Allen) that is challenging Judge Evans is the ultimate insider. The ultimate clout man. I'll bet my hair grease that there are some ties to the Murphy emails.

Then this black lady's hair is going way too straight because now I read about this judge (Pethers) and her boring job. Well, I say "Bye Felicia". There are plenty of people out there who were not relishing in coming before you with what they deemed to be life altering matters. What gets me about this judge according to what was reported, is that she had the nerve to say the litigants almost drove her nuts? Come on. Sounds like she may already been on the nut trolley herself but had just enough sense left to leave. My message to all the other bored or all of you people are driving me nuts judges is to go on that canoe ride with the judge.

Jack Leyhane said...

Well, Black-Lady-Who-Reads, I guess I'm going to have to a separate post on Mr. Mihalopoulos's latest column -- but I've got work to do this afternoon -- so let me just rise to Judge Prethers' defense on one point.

You wrote, "What gets me about this judge according to what was reported, is that she had the nerve to say the litigants almost drove her nuts?"

Actually, what Judge Pethers wrote on this point was this: "I always enjoyed helping pro se litigants understand the system and explaining the law to them. (That's not to say there weren't some who drove me almost as nuts as they were!)"

That's a big difference.

And I happened to be in 1501 one morning when one of the nuttier litigants was in front of the Hon. Pethers. I don't recall now whether he said he was in law school or that he was going to be in law school, but, if I recollect the incident accurately, he was clearly outraged that Judge Pethers would not grant his motion for a default judgment against a party that he hadn't properly served. She explained to him what he needed to do to get proper service. He wasn't buying. She explained again. He got hostile. She tried a different tack. He got abusive. I could see she was getting angry. Good Lord, anyone would be angry. But Judge Pethers did not lose it on the litigant. She did get pretty terse -- and the courtroom deputy had moved in close to prevent any real unpleasantness -- but she got the litigant to subside---eventually---without force or a contempt citation. It sounded like he was on his way to the JIB when he left the room. And she'd only tried to help him out.

I wish I could recall the incident in a little better detail, because it reflects greatly to the judge's credit, but I have to tell you, I was there as a lawyer, not a reporter, and I was just praying to God that my case wouldn't be called next!

More later.

Anonymous said...

I understand Judge Lyons will also be throwing his hat into the ring for Chief Judge.

Anonymous said...

Ok Jack. We will agree to disagree on the judge's "nuts" comment. You witnessed a 'coo coo for cocoa puffs' moment. I would think this was a not to often occurrence where she sits. It's not like she was in mental health court. I would have to assume most people, even with their frustrations, and other human frailties was problematic for her over an extended period of time. But she's history now. Bigger issues on the horizon. Can't wait to hear what you have to post on the other parts of the article. Until then, the hair on my head is getting it's curl back. black lady who reads

Anonymous said...

Greetings. Finally some juicy stuff going on for me to write about.

The Chief Judge’s race. And boy, is this getting interesting.

Looks like Tim Evans is running scared.

The election for Chief Judge is governed by Rule 0.2 of the Rules of the Circuit Court of Cook County wherein it is stated that “…a majority of the circuit judges of the Circuit Court of Cook County shall select by secret ballot one of their number to serve as Chief Judge for a three (3) year term…and shall select a Chief Judge in the same manner every three (3) years thereafter.”

The way Tim Evans has been able to manipulate this process every 3 years (for the last 16 years) is by selecting his friends to serve on a committee and then legitimizing the process by have 50% plus 1 of the sitting circuit court judges sign off on an order allowing him to write the procedural rules governing the election. But, this year, the rank and file judges, fed up with his lack of leadership and his dictatorial manner, put out the word to withhold their names from the order so that the election could be held under Robert’s Rules of Order and Parliamentary Procedure. Yeah, a contested convention!

So as the judges were celebrating the fact that we were going to have an “open primary” so to speak, Tim decided to use the totally irrelevant and strictly ministerial Rule Number 21 of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules, which has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Chief Judge’s election, to put a committee together to promulgate his rules for the upcoming election. (That, of course, is going to be challenged.)

So you’re probably asking yourself a certain question right about now. Why is Tim trying so hard to hang on to a spot year in and year out after he has maxed out on his pension and at his advanced age? Well that’s simple. It’s the patronage and the contracts. The fiefdom. Plain and real, real, real simple. A $40,000,000.00 a year budget loaded with Shakman-exempt jobs and no-bid contracts. The Illinois constitution allows the court to dole out “judicial contracts” on a confidential and no-bid bases. The employees of the chief judge’s office all serve at the pleasure of the chief judge in “confidential” and “policy making” jobs so as to not require a need for an open or transparent process to fill those jobs. No civil service or unions jobs here. No sir.

The Chief Judge’s office is the last bastion of old school political patronage. And everyone from supreme court judges, alderman, committeemen, state representatives, state senators, congressman, etc., get to feed their family and friends into that system.

So, Tim is going to have some serious opposition this time around. And it’s going to start with a challenge to the illegal committee he formed in the most unethical and unconstitutional of ways (Illinois Constitution, not federal constitution) and might end up with his defeat at the hands of the judges that is trying to bamboozle and that he has let down time and time again.

As always, E.P.

Jean Lotus said...

E.P., I'm a reporter for Cook County Chronicle writing about this chief judge challenge. Would you be open to an off-the-record conversation for background? jlotus@chronicleillinois.com.