Ex-judge agrees to disbarment after she is accused of stealing money from former Tuskegee Airman
Retired Judge Patricia Manila Martin has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to remove her from the attorney rolls after an ethics complaint accused her of stealing more than $246,000 from a Tuskegee Airman. Photo illustration by Sara Wadford/ABA Journal/Shutterstock.
A retired judge in Cook County, Illinois, has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to remove her from the attorney rolls after an ethics complaint accused her of stealing more than $246,000 from a Tuskegee Airman who had been married to her aunt.
Judge Patricia Manila Martin retired from her job as a judge and began stealing from the veteran after he moved to a residential elder care facility, according to a statement of facts filed with Martin’s June 26 motion for consent disbarment.
The statement of facts identified the victim as Oscar Lawton Wilkerson Jr.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Wilkerson was one of the last known survivors of the Tuskegee Airmen, a Black aviation combat unit formed during World War II. Wilkerson was a bomber pilot but did not see action because the war ended before bomber pilots were activated.
Wilkerson died in February at age 96, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
In an affidavit filed with her motion for consent disbarment, Martin said a hearing would establish the “facts and conclusions of misconduct” cited in the ethics complaint.
A physician who was also a friend of Wilkerson’s had had asked Martin in November 2020 to help handle Wilkerson’s financial affairs, according to a statement of facts by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Wilkerson moved into the elder care facility the next month.
Martin is accused of using Wilkerson’s money to invest in cryptocurrency and pay her bills.
Martin was formerly the presiding judge in Cook County’s child protection division.
Prosecutors told a judge Thursday that they intend to file a criminal contempt charge against Martin for failing to participate in a civil case against her and for violating court orders against moving money.