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Cara Smith, Sheriff Tom Dart’s policy chief, to become judge

Smith has been appointed judge in Cook County’s 7th Subcircuit.

Cara Smith. | AP file photo
Cara Smith
Associated Press

Cara Smith, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s chief policy adviser, will become a judge in a few weeks, moving up to fill a vacancy in the county’s 7th Subcircuit.

Smith was recommended for the post by Illinois Supreme Court Judge Anne Burke, wife of embattled 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke, after applicants were screened and evaluated. Job requirements are: being a lawyer in good standing; being licensed to practice law in Illinois; and being a resident of the 7th Subcircuit.

The appointment fills the vacancy created by Judge Marianne Jackson, who assumed office in 2014 after the death of judge Anthony Burrell. Jackson retired last December.

Smith’s term on the bench starts June 17 and runs through 2020. She also could choose to run in 2020 for election to a full term.

“I am exceptionally honored at this appointment by Justice Burke and have been blessed throughout my career to have served the public and to have worked for exceptional elected officials,” Smith said. “I think it’s an incredibly important position in our legal system and I will work tirelessly to uphold the integrity of the position.

Smith has worked with Dart since November 2012.

There hasn’t been talk yet of who will replace her, but “I’m sure the office will be in great hands,” Smith said.