Criminal probe launched in case of lawyer who allegedly posed as judge – Chicago Tribune

The Cook County state’s attorney’s office said on Friday that it had begun a criminal investigation into an incident earlier this month in which a municipal court judge at the south suburban Markham courthouse allegedly allowed a law clerk to wear a robe and hear traffic cases.

When news broke that a nonjudge had reportedly handled cases, the office of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said that it would “review” the matter.

“It has moved from a review — which was based upon our office initially learning about the matter — to an investigation,” Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the office, said in an email to the Tribune Friday. “Investigation is ongoing. We won’t speculate on possible charges.”

Daly would not say if the judge, Valarie Turner, or the law clerk, Rhonda Crawford, was the target of the investigation. But moving from a review to an investigation suggests prosecutors have determined there is enough evidence of wrongdoing to determine whether charges are warranted.

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