Trials & Litigation

Former Chief Judge Is Acquitted in Drunken-Driving Case

A retired former chief judge in suburban Chicago’s Lake County was acquitted of a drunken-driving charge at trial Monday after a lengthy litigation battle.

David Hall, 59, had previously won a trial court ruling, unsuccessfully appealed by the prosecution, barring the use of blood-alcohol evidence because of the way it was processed at a hospital after his arrest four years ago. Judge F. Keith Brown, who was brought in from neighboring Kane County to avoid a conflict of interest in Lake County, found that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that Hall had been driving under the influence, the Daily Herald reports.

However, Brown found him guilty of resisting arrest. He sentenced Hall to perform 100 hours of community service and fined him $1,000.

Hall said he hopes to be allowed to do pro bono legal work to meet the community service requirement, the newspaper reports.

The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times also have stories.

Hall, who stepped down as chief judge after his 2008 arrest but retired only last week, has said he didn’t resist arrest and was pepper-sprayed for no reason.

“Four years is a long time to be in this position,” he told the Tribune before Monday’s trial concluded.

The state attorney general’s office prosecuted Hall to avoid a conflict of interest in the Vernon Hills case.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. to include Daily Herald coverage.

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