Judge reassigned due to misdemeanor charge

Released On 07/11/2018

Pursuant to action taken Wednesday by the Executive Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Associate Judge Joseph Michael Claps has been reassigned to administrative duties. The assignment is effective until further notice. 

The Executive Committee’s decision to reassign Judge Claps followed a meeting of the Circuit Court of Cook County Executive Committee convened by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans. 

The committee is aware that the Cook County Sheriff filed a misdemeanor charge against Judge Claps, alleging that he carried a concealed weapon into a prohibited area. On July 5, Chief Judge Evans reassigned Judge Claps to administrative duties pending the Executive Committee’s consideration of the matter today. 

The members of the Executive Committee who approved the reassignment are as follows:            

Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge and Committee Chair

Honorable Mary Ellen Coghlan, Presiding Judge, Probate Division

Honorable Grace G. Dickler, Presiding Judge, Domestic Relations Division

Honorable James P. Flannery Jr., Presiding Judge, Law Division

          Honorable Sophia H. Hall, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Resource Section

Honorable Moshe Jacobius, Presiding Judge, Chancery Division

Honorable LeRoy K. Martin Jr., Presiding Judge, Criminal Division

Honorable Patricia M. Martin, Presiding Judge, Child Protection Division

Honorable Sebastian T. Patti, Presiding Judge, Domestic Violence Division

Honorable Sharon M. Sullivan, Presiding Judge, County Division

Honorable Michael P. Toomin, Presiding Judge, Juvenile Justice Division

Honorable E. Kenneth Wright Jr., Presiding Judge, First Municipal District

Honorable Shelley Sutker-Dermer, Presiding Judge, Second Municipal District

Honorable Jill C. Marisie, Acting Presiding Judge, Third Municipal District

Honorable Cheyrl D. Ingram, Presiding Judge, Fourth Municipal District

Honorable Raymond L. Jagielski, Presiding Judge, Fifth Municipal District

Honorable Tommy Brewer, Presiding Judge, Sixth Municipal District                                                                                                     

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 performing legal research, 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.”


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