Lawyer Charged With Impersonating Judge Found Dead

Rhonda Crawford, who was set to stand trial Monday on charges she impersonated a judge, has been found dead, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. 

Crawford, 46, was pronounced dead at her home at 4:02 p.m. Thursday by Calumet City police, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

An autopsy was scheduled for Friday. 

Crawford faced one count of official misconduct and one county of false impersonation over an incident in August 2016 when a judge in the Markham courthouse allowed her to wear a judicial robe and rule on a few traffic cases from the bench. 

At the time, Crawford had won the Democratic primary for a seat on the bench from the 1st Judicial Subcircuit, but she had yet to be elected. 

The lapse in judgment created a political firestorm at a time when Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans was facing a tough re-election fight. Crawford held a job as a law clerk in Evans’ office.

She also was facing disciplinary proceedings before the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission that could have resulted in the revocation of her law license. 

“I think she was put in an untenable situation by a a number of others. I looked forward to vindicating her on Monday. But that’s not going to happen now,” said her attorney, Rob Robertson.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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