A Cook County judge who was recently replaced as the presiding judge of the domestic violence division has been reassigned to administrative duties because of a comment he allegedly made to a colleague.
Chief Judge Tim Evans’ office did not give details as to what Judge Raul Vega said to another judge on Dec. 6 but said the comment “would likely” have violated the state’s code of judicial conduct.
A domestic violence courthouse employee who answered a phone call from the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday said Vega left on vacation last week and wasn’t likely reachable for comment.
Vega’s upcoming retirement was announced last week as was the appointment of Judge Judith Rice as acting presiding judge of the domestic violence courthouse.
Vega was reassigned to “restricted duties or duties other than judicial duties ...” Evans said.
The Cook County circuit court’s executive committee, which composed of Evans and other presiding judges, made the decision to inform the state’s Judicial Inquiry Board of Vega’s alleged comment, Evans said earlier this week.
But details about Vega’s alleged misconduct likely won’t surface.
Vega is retiring in January, and the board loses its jurisdiction to investigate judges upon their retirement, according to Michael Deno, the board’s executive director.
Allegations received by the board are investigated and only released publicly if the matter is further referred to the Illinois Courts Commission — an independent judicial body that could ultimately make a finding to remove, suspend or reprimand a judge.
Until a matter is referred to the commission, the state Constitution mandates all allegations are kept “strictly confidential,” Deno said, adding that he could neither confirm nor deny whether the board had received Evans’ referral about Vega.