A Fake Judge Disqualifies Herself From Becoming A Real Judge

This is ridiculous.

Well, sure it's OK to impersonate a judge ON STAGE...

Well, sure it’s OK to impersonate a judge ON STAGE…

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission is asking for the immediate suspension of a judicial candidate Rhonda Crawford, who is running  for a judgeship covering parts of Chicago and its suburbs. The request asks the Illinois Supreme Court to block Crawford from becoming a judge if she wins the election, which is likely, since she is running unopposed. The reason she has been deemed unfit to be a judge is that she already pretended to be one, in essence impersonating a judge and ruling on cases in traffic court.

Crawford admitted last month that she wore a judicial robe and sat at the bench as part of a “shadowing process”  under the direction Judge Valarie Turner, who was reprimanded and  reassigned to administrative duties after pulling the stunt. Near the end of the afternoon court call, Judge Turner announced that “we’re going to switch judges” and gave her judicial robe to Crawford. Crawford didn’t correct the misstatement, and began acting as the judge. Judge Turner, who appears to have taken leave of her senses, told the prosecutor earlier in the day that Crawford was a judge, and Crawford did not correct the misstatement. When an officer in the courtroom congratulated Crawford on her judgeship, Crawford did not correct him, either. Judge Turner later told the presiding judge investigating the incident that she thought Crawford really was a judge, which is odd since she was employed as a law clerk and staff attorney, and real judges tend to have their own robes while not requiring second judges to stand behind them.

Crawford was fired after the incident. The ethics commission then brought charges against her in record time. Needless to say, pretending to be a judge is a violation of many ethics rules for lawyers, including the ones prohibiting dishonesty, intentional misrepresentation of material facts, and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Unethical lawyers cannot be judges, because they have this funny tendency to be unethical judges.

Despite her obvious unfitness,  Crawford refuses to remove her name from the ballot, saying through her campaign,  “When people make honest mistakes they should not be crucified.” Wait, did the ethics commission say it was going to crucify her? Wow. I mean, masquerading as a judge and illicitly ruling in cases is bad, sure, but that’s barbar… Oh. OH, it isn’t going to crucify her! It just says that lying lawyers without the sense to know that lawyers who act like a judge and assume the authority of one in court without being a judge have no business running for a judgeship. . Whew. I knew they were strict in Chicago, but crucifixion seemed pretty extreme. Prohibiting a lawyer who fakes being a judge from becoming a real one isn’t strict at all. It’s necessary.

The campaign also argues, “Ms. Crawford has already admitted that she donned a judge’s robe, but she was never trying to be dishonest.” Oh, she was pretending to be a judge knowing that she wasn’t one, and allowed everyone to believe she was a judge when she wasn’t one, but she wasn’t trying to be dishonest.

I’m curious: what would she call it? It seems like the only other explanation is that she’s stupid, and that’s not exactly a qualification for a judge either.

_____________________

Pointer and Facts: ABA Journal

13 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions

13 responses to “A Fake Judge Disqualifies Herself From Becoming A Real Judge

  1. Anonymous Coward

    From her campaign rhetoric today it sounds like in 20 years she’ll be a Democrat party presidential candidate.

  2. zoebrain

    And on the subject of Judges…

    “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” McCain told Giordano. He added that “this is why we need the majority.”

    So much for letting the next President nominate the replacement for the Scalia vacancy. Obviously that only applies if the President is Republican.

    So they can continue the path they laid down with their refusal to even examine any SCOTUS nomination any Democratic President makes.

    Alas, I see the DNC following suit in their turn.

    One can only hope that the Republicans reconsider, and at least agree to some sham hearing before predetermined rejection of every candidate, rather than a blanket refusal unheard.

    The solution of having a Democratic filibuster-proof majority, or worse, the Nuclear Option, is a cure arguably worse for the country than the disease.

    • Inexplicably absurd, and unethical. McCain needs to go, as a start. Saying this before she even gives a name is indefensible. After she gives a name, it’s only irresponsible and incompetent.

      • It is also an example of why Republicans are in so much trouble with their own base, such that a buffoon like Trump can come around and bad-mouth the Republican Congress for not “standing up” to Obama. McCain knows perfectly well that Republicans are not going to stop every and any Hillary Clinton nominee. Comments like McCain’s will be used to bad-mouth Congressional Republicans the second the absurd promise is breached.

      • It’s also the only reason Merrick Garland isn’t confirmed, despite being perhaps the best choice for conservatives Obama could have possible nominated.

      • zoebrain

        Inexplicably absurd? It’s perfectly explicable. It is of a piece with every other action by the GOP since 2008. The declaration of having one aim – to maje Obama a 1-term President by obstructing as much as was possible everything he proposed, even if the GOP had proposed it first.

        To make the country ungovernable. Had the GOP been more disciplined, as many readers have urged, it would have worked. Hoeever, there are those on both sides of politics who aren’t so obdurate, even if they do kowtow to the malefactors of great wealth.

  3. Forget becoming a judge. Doesn’t this conduct warrant criminal prosecution, and disciplinary action by the legal ethics authorities, including disbarment or at least suspension from the practice of law?

  4. Other Bill

    She could always get a job as a 911 operator in Houston.

  5. Alex

    Agree on the outcome, but why wasn’t Judge Turner also fired and disbarred? Arguably her violation is worse since she’s already a judge, and I don’t buy her “I didn’t know” excuse.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s