Judge Barred from Courthouse Wins Re-Election, Presses Insanity Defense in Battery Case

A judge in suburban Markham, Ill., has won a retention election even though she has been suspended since March and barred from entering Cook County courthouses without a police escort.

Cook County Judge Cynthia Brim was suspended by a panel of supervising judges in March after she was charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly shoving a sheriff’s deputy in a Chicago courthouse, the Chicago Tribune reports. On Wednesday she appeared in court in the battery case, in which she is asserting an insanity defense.

A court-appointed psychiatrist determined Brim was “presently mentally fit with medication” but legally insane when she allegedly shoved the officer, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in an earlier story.

Brim’s lawyer says she has bipolar disorder, but her physician says she can now return to work.

Preliminary totals show Brim winning retention with 63.5 percent of the vote. She needed 60 percent to keep her judicial seat.

Brim has continued to collect her $182,000 annual salary during the seven-month suspension. The Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Council of Lawyers recommended against her retention. She was backed, however, by the Cook County Democratic Party.

In the last 22 years, only one sitting circuit court judge has lost a retention election in Cook County, according to the Sun-Times.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. to include retention vote.

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