Cook County Judge Cynthia Brim was arrested and locked up by authorities after tossing a set of keys and shoving a sheriff’s deputy in the Daley Center court complex late Friday afternoon.
A day earlier Brim was on the bench in one of the county’s suburban courthouses — presiding over traffic-ticket cases — when she went on a tirade and had to be asked to leave the courtroom, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
About 4:45 p.m. Friday, Brim arrived at the downtown Daley Center, approached sheriff’s deputies outside of a security checkpoint and asked if they had found a set of keys she lost, sheriff’s spokesman Frank Bilecki said. The deputies, who did not know who she was, showed her three sets of keys that had turned up and she claimed one of the sets, he said.
She left but returned about 15 minutes later, this time tossing a set of keys toward at least one deputy and shoving one in the chest for unknown reasons, Bilecki said. “At that point she was taken into custody,” he said, adding that she was handcuffed and led away to a sheriff’s lockup in the basement of the downtown court building. She was charged with misdemeanor battery and was expected to be released, he said.
On Thursday, sources said, Brim was acting erratically on the bench as she presided over traffic cases in the county’s suburban Markham courthouse. She was hearing traffic cases on tickets written by South Holland, that town’s police chief confirmed.
“An incident did happen,” said South Holland Police Chief Warren Millsaps, whose officers were in Brim’s packed courtroom Thursday morning. He declined to provide details, referring questions to the presiding judge of the Sixth District, Marjorie Laws. Laws referred calls to Chief Judge Timothy Evans, who did not respond to a request for comment.
One source told the Sun-Times that Brim made comments during the call that were “racial in nature,” accusing south suburban towns of ticketing only black and Hispanic drivers. She accused south suburban police officers of conspiring to get her fired, the source said.
Another source said she recited her parents’ names, the address of her church and her license plate number and walked around the courtroom, complaining she had been run out of her last assignment.
Acting Presiding Judge Brian K. Flaherty asked her repeatedly to leave the courtroom, the source said.