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Law clerk allowed to act like judge has been fired

Sun-Times
File Photo.

A law clerk running for judge who was allowed to make rulings from the bench earlier this month has been fired, according to a statement from the Office of the Chief Judge of Cook County.

Chief Judge Timothy Evans suspended Rhonda Crawford without pay Aug. 17, about a week after she was accused of making rulings in two cases from the bench in Markham. She was then fired Aug. 26, according to Tuesday’s statement.

Rhonda Crawford | Facebook photo
Rhonda Crawford | Facebook photo

Cook County Judge Valarie E. Turner, who allegedly allowed Crawford — running for judge in the November election — to put on her robe and make the rulings, has since been reassigned to non-courtroom duties.

Valarie Turner | Provided photo
Valarie Turner | Provided photo

A spokesman for Evans said the Aug. 11 incident involved Crawford presiding in “two minor traffic tickets — one for driving with no insurance and another for driving on the median.” Turner’s courtroom was in the Sixth Municipal District Courthouse in Markham.

Citing Illinois Supreme Court rules, a news release from Evans office said he could offer no further comment because it is an ongoing matter.

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Crawford’s job had paid $56,961 a year.

A spokesman for Evans has indicated both cases in which Crawford had ruled would be heard again by another judge.