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Judge Erica Reddick becomes 1st woman to head Cook County Criminal Court

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans also announced Monday that Judge Sanjay T. Tailor will be acting presiding judge of the court’s County Division and Judge Diann Marsalek will be serving as acting presiding judge of Traffic Court — a newly-created position.

A man has been charged in connection with a Jan. 24, 2021 fatal shooting in Little Village.
Judge Erica Reddick, who served in the Cook County public defender’s office for over two decades, will replace Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr., who has moved to the state’s appellate court.
Adobe Stock Photo

Judge Erica Reddick was named the new presiding judge of the Cook County Criminal Court Monday, making her the first woman to assume that role.

Reddick, who served in the Cook County public defender’s office for over two decades, will replace Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr., who has moved to the state’s appellate court.

Reddick was appointed a judge ten years ago and was elected to her first full-term as a judge in 2012. A year later, she was assigned to the criminal division.

Days into her new job, Reddick will be presiding over a hearing on whether to appoint a special prosecutor to look into allegations of wrongdoing by assistant state’s attorneys who tried Jackie Wilson at his third trial. Wilson, who said he was tortured into confessing to the 1982 murders of two Chicago police officers, was granted a petition for a certificate of innocence late last month after nearly 40 years in prison.

Reddick said she is “looking forward” to her new duties at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

“It’s a good day to see the advancement of women in leadership,” Reddick was quoted in a news release issued by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans.

In addition to Reddick’s appointment, Evans also announced Monday that Judge Sanjay T. Tailor will be acting presiding judge of the court’s County Division and Judge Diann Marsalek will be serving as acting presiding judge of Traffic Court — a newly-created position.

Tailor, who will replace retiring Judge Sharon Sullivan, most recently served in the Chancery Division. He will be the state’s first Asian American presiding judge.

Marsalek has spent the last 5 1⁄2 years as the supervising judge of the First Municipal District’s Traffic Court.