Case Details

Case # 11 CC 1
Judge Douglas J. Simpson
Disposition Censured
Decision Date 11/7/2011

Case Summary

The Complaint alleged that on the morning of September 23, 2010, Respondent went into a detail shop and spoke to the shop's Owner regarding getting his car detailed; during the course of their conversation, Respondent informed the Shop Owner that he worked at the Markham courthouse. The Complaint also alleges that the Shop Owner then volunteered to Respondent that he had a case pending at the Markham courthouse (the “Shop Owner matter”) and a court hearing was scheduled for that morning; thereafter, the Shop Owner showed Respondent an Order dated August 12, 2010 noticing the Shop Owner matter for hearing. The Complaint additionally alleged that Respondent left the detail shop; went to the Markham courthouse; and after arriving at the courthouse, Respondent went to the courtroom of the judge presiding over Shop Owner matter (“Judge A”). At the time of Respondent's arrival in Judge A's courtroom, Judge A was in the process of conducting his pro se call. After Respondent informed Judge A that he wanted to speak with him, Judge A recessed his call and met with Respondent in Judge A's chambers. The Complaint alleged that while in Judge A's chambers, Respondent showed Judge A the August 12, 2010 Order, informed Judge A that he (Judge A) had the case associated with the Order, that one of the parties was a mechanic who had done work for another judge, and that the mechanic was a “good guy;” Judge A then stood up and Respondent told Judge A that he was not asking him to do “anything improper.” The Complaint also alleged that Judge A returned to the bench immediately following the conversation with Respondent in his chambers and after finishing his call and trial, Judge A informed the Presiding Judge of the morning's events. The Complaint further alleged that later that morning, Respondent called Judge A's chambers and left a voicemail message; and that Judge A returned his call, during which Respondent apologized and said he “regretted” his actions. The Respondent then asked Judge A to disregard their conversation that had taken place earlier that morning. On September 27, 2010, Respondent returned to Judge A's chambers and apologized for his conduct on September 23, 2010; Judge A informed Respondent that he was “uncomfortable” with the situation and he would report the matter to the Judicial Inquiry Board. The Complaint further alleged that Respondent asked Judge A if he could “talk him out” of doing so to which Judge A responded that he had to report the matter. Judge A ultimately recused himself from the Shop Owner matter and it was transferred to the Fifth Municipal District.

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