DuPage judge to hear case against Cook County judge - KMSP-TV

DuPage judge to hear case against Cook County judge

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A DuPage County judge has been tapped to preside over a politically delicate Chicago case involving a misdemeanor battery charge against Cook County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Brim, who was arrested earlier this year after allegedly shoving a deputy and throwing a set of keys near a security checkpoint at the Daley Center.

Two Cook County judges have so far recused themselves from the case and during a brief hearing Wednesday, Judge E. Kenneth Wright told Brim, her attorney and an assistant state's attorney that "Judge Liam Brennan from DuPage County is going to hear this case."

Wright, the presiding judge for the first municipal district where the misdemeanor case is being prosecuted, didn't elaborate on the decision to assign the case to an out-of-county judge, the Sun-Times is reporting.

Brim, 54, a judge since 1994, has pleaded not guilty and will be back in court on the matter in January.

She was re-elected to another six-year term last month even though she's suspended indefinitely in the wake of the March 9 incident. Brim didn't talk with reporters on Wednesday, but appeared in court the day after the Nov. 6 election and told reporters in a courthouse hallway: "I'm happy to be re-elected."

Her attorney points to court findings — detailed in records obtained by the Sun-Times — that reveal Brim was examined by a court-appointed psychiatrist who believes she's "presently mentally fit with medication" but opined she was "legally insane" at the time of the reported skirmish with the sheriff's officer.

Brim has a "bipolar disorder" and "at the time that this alleged offense occurred ... my client was simply not in a mental state that is sufficient for her to ever be found guilty, so we're wasting valuable judicial time," James Montgomery, her attorney, told reporters after last month's hearing.

But the case will proceed, Montgomery suggested, because Brim has not bowed to pressure to step down.

"If they're trying to get her to resign as they apparently have been trying to do, and holding this case over her as a hostage, it will never happen because if we must try the case, we will try the case," Montgomery said last month.

Montgomery said "the assistant state's attorney has said to me on at least two court appearances, ‘Is she going to resign?' And when I said she absolutely is not going to resign under these circumstances, she [the assistant state's attorney] said ‘OK let's go to trial.' "

Andy Conklin, a spokesman for State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, responded: "We've never suggested that she resign."

Montgomery said Brim's suspension — decided initially by a panel of supervising judges in the days after her arrest — will likely continue until the state's Judicial Inquiry Board investigation concludes. The board has the authority to investigate and prosecute allegations of "judicial misconduct or incapacity."

In the meantime, she continues collecting her regular paycheck for the $182,000-a-year job.

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