Judge is removed from bench for allegedly letting a lawyer wear her robe and rule in some cases

  • Print


A suburban Chicago judge was removed from the bench on Wednesday after allegations surfaced that she let a lawyer wear her robe and rule in at least two of her cases.

Judge Valarie Turner was removed and reassigned to administrative duties, report the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and CBS Chicago. She was accused of letting lawyer and judicial candidate Rhonda Crawford take her place in a Markham, Illinois, courthouse during a morning court call.

Sources told the Sun-Times that Crawford was “job shadowing” Turner to learn more about judicial duties when Turner let her take the bench. Crawford reportedly ruled in some of Turner’s traffic cases.

Chief Judge Timothy Evans announced after a meeting of the Circuit Court’s executive committee that Turner was being reassigned. His order is here (PDF) and a press release is here (PDF).

Crawford is a staff attorney and law clerk in Evans’ office. She is the unopposed candidate for a judgeship covering parts of Chicago and the south suburbs. Crawford has been suspended without pay from her job paying nearly $57,000 a year during an internal investigation.

Turner is a former federal prosecutor and BigLaw associate who graduated from the University of Chicago Law School. She told the Chicago Sun-Times she had no comment.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.