Judiciary

Staff attorney is fired after she is accused of wearing judge's robes and ruling on cases

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A staff attorney who is accused of wearing a judge’s robes and ruling on cases is no longer employed in her $57,000-a-year job at a suburban Chicago courthouse.

The staff attorney and law clerk, Rhonda Crawford, “is no longer employed” in her job, according to a statement released on Tuesday by Cook County, Illinois, Chief Judge Timothy Evans. The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times have stories.

The judge accused of allowing Crawford to take her place, Valarie Turner, has been removed from the bench and reassigned to administrative duties.

Cook County prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation that is ongoing, a spokesperson tells the Chicago Tribune.

Crawford is running without opposition for a judgeship covering parts of Chicago and the south suburbs. Sources previously told the Sun-Times that Crawford was “job shadowing” to learn more about judging when she took the bench in Markham, Illinois, on Aug. 11.

Crawford presided in two traffic cases, a spokesman for Evans told the Sun-Times. According to the Tribune, one case was continued and the other was dismissed because the officer who wrote the ticket did not appear in court. An actual judge will rehear the cases.

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