Cook County Judge Suspended After Arrest

Judge Cynthia Brim sidelined for possible actions that would "impede the orderly administration of justice"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    A Cook County judge has been barred from judicial duties after her arrest during a confrontation with two sheriff's deputies after acting erratically last week.

    The Circuit Court of Cook County's executive committee on Monday removed Judge Cynthia Brim from the bench.

    The executive committee is made up of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans and presiding judges at all of Cook County's major branch courts.

    It said Brim was removed because she's been charged with a crime, inappropriate conduct that may have threatened public safety, and possible actions that would "impede the orderly administration of justice."

    Sheriff's spokesman Frank Bilecki says Brim got into an altercation with deputies after claiming a set of keys at a security checkpoint. Brim was charged with misdemeanor battery and released on bond.

    Brim could not be reached for comment Monday.

    She graduated from Loyola University Law School in Chicago in 1983, according to the Illinois Attorney Regulation and Disciplinary Commission. She has no public history of discipline, according to a commission spokesman.

    Nor does she have any public history with the state’s Judicial Inquiry Board, which regulates and investigates judicial conduct. A spokeswoman would not comment on whether the board was investigating Brim, citing confidentiality.

    Before becoming a judge in 1994, she worked as an assistant attorney general in Chicago, according to Sullivan’s Judicial Profiles. In 1996, she was assigned to the Markham courthouse, then moved to Bridgeview in 1998. In June 2010, she returned to Markham.

    Brim was reelected in 2000 and 2006, though she was not recommended by a majority of area bar associations both times.

    The Chicago Council of Lawyers said in 2006 she showed up late to court too often and demonstrated a “lack of a good grasp of the law.”

    Brim told the Chicago Sun-Times then she had handled 220,000 cases, and "only eight cases have been appealed out of all of those. I never was reversed in any of them."

    In 2000, she received negative reviews from 10 of the 11 bar associations. She had relatively little experience as a lawyer before elected a judge, and the bar associations’ consensus was that she lacked sufficient legal knowledge and skills to be a good judge.