Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Judge Jessica A. O'Brien reassigned to administrative duties pending further notice

Pursuant to action taken last evening by the Executive Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge Jessica A. O'Brien, recently indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with an alleged mortgage fraud scheme, has "been reassigned to administrative duties in the office of the Presiding Judge of the First Municipal District, Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr." until further notice.

The announcement was made today in a press release issued by the Office of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans.

The court's action yesterday confirms the temporary assignment of Judge O'Brien to administrative duties after the April 12 indictment was announced.

The court's statement today provides, in pertinent part:
A judge may be temporarily reassigned to restricted or other than judicial duties whenever there are charges or implications of improper conduct, depending on the severity and nature, under “Illinois Supreme Court Rule 56. Temporary Assignment to Other Duties.” In the Circuit Court of Cook County, administrative duties can include conducting marriage ceremonies and reviewing petitions for reduced court-filing fees for indigent parties.

Regarding any questions directed to the Office of the Chief Judge about any case in any court system, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 63 states: “A judge should abstain from public comment about a pending or impending proceeding in any court, and should require similar abstention on the part of court personnel subject to the judge’s direction and control.”