Legal Ethics

Inquiry board says Chicago judge acquitted in courthouse battery case can't do job without treatment

An Illinois judge who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in February in a criminal battery case over an altercation with sheriff’s deputies at a courthouse security checkpoint in Chicago is now facing a legal ethics complaint.

Cook County Circuit Judge Cynthia Brim, who has been diagnosed with a bipolar mood disorder, is “mentally unable to perform her duties unless she receives regular treatment,” says a complaint filed Tuesday by the state’s judicial inquiry board. It also contends that Brim, who was suspended from her $182,000-a-year job with pay last year after the courthouse security altercation, has been behaving in an unusual manner and violated state ethics rules for judges by failing to follow the law and maintain order in her suburban Chicago courtroom, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Brim is accused of telling those in her Markham courtroom while she was conducting a March 8, 2012 traffic call that a relative had been raped, that nearby suburban police departments targeted blacks and that “justice is all about if you’re black or white.” The ethics complaint also says she walked 5 miles the next day after deciding to complain to the inquiry board about a story she saw in the newspaper about another judge, then tried to visit her attorney but got mixed up and went to another lawyer’s office on a different floor and refused to leave.

See also: “Chicago Judge Removed from Bench After Altercation with Deputies at Security Checkpoint” “Insanity defense wins acquittal for judge who had altercation with deputies”

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