Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Number One With A Bullet

The illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging that the attorney made a series of false statements concerning the discharge of a revolver

In September 2017, Respondent resided in a unit at the Courthouse Square Apartments in Wheaton. Respondent's apartment was located adjacent to, and immediately to the west of, a neighboring unit occupied by two residents. The east wall of Respondent's bedroom was shared with his neighbors' apartment.

On September 15, 2017, between approximately 1:30 and 2:15 p.m., Respondent removed Smith & Wesson .38 Special Airweight revolver from a dresser in his bedroom, removed the revolver from its holster, and the revolver discharged. The bullet passed through a mirror that then hung on the east wall of Respondent's bedroom, through the wall behind the mirror, and into his neighbors' living room. The bullet left a hole in the west wall of the neighbors' living room traveled through the living room, and struck and damaged the east wall of the room before stopping its trajectory and falling into the living room.

Soon after firing the revolver into his neighbors' apartment, Respondent left his apartment building and entered the Courthouse Square Apartments office to ask for help in removing the bedroom mirror. While in the office, Respondent told the building's property manager that he had damaged the wall of his apartment while trying to hang the mirror. The maintenance worker then accompanied Respondent back to Respondent's apartment, and Respondent informed the maintenance worker that the bullet hole in his wall had been caused when Respondent accidentally pushed a screwdriver through the wall.

Respondent also spoke with the Courthouse Square Apartments assistant manager that same day, and he told her that he had damaged his wall by accidentally driving a screwdriver through it. In a subsequent conversation, Respondent told the assistant manager that he wanted to apologize to his neighbors and give them a gift card to make amends for damaging their wall. Respondent did not inform any of the Courthouse Square Apartments personnel that he had, in fact, discharged a firearm inside his bedroom and fired a bullet into his neighbors' apartment.

Respondent's various statements to the Courthouse Square personnel, described in paragraphs three and four, above, were false, because Respondent had not caused the hole in the wall by using a screwdriver or by attempting to hang a mirror, but by firing a bullet through the wall.

Respondent knew that those statements were false, because he know that he had caused the damage to the wall by firing a bullet through the wall.

After a neighbor found the bullet, respondent allegedly made false statements to the police that included blaming his son

Detective Waterous then told Respondent that he knew neither a screwdriver nor a nail gun had caused the bullet hole, and that a bullet had been found on the other side of the wall in his neighbors' apartment. Respondent replied that Respondent's son must have come into Respondent's bedroom and accidentally fired one of Respondent's firearms through the wall.

Respondent was a judge

 On April 13, 2018, Respondent, who had been a judge in the Circuit Court or the 18th Judicial Circuit in DuPage County at the time of the events alleged in Count I of this complaint, appeared before the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board ("Board") and testified under oath about those events.

He allegedly made false statements to a Judicial Inquiry Board.

Respondent knew his testimony to the Board was false, because he had participated in the police interview and knew that he had not initially been truthful. During the September 27, 2017 police interview. Respondent did not admit to firing the gun until after he gave at least three false explanations for the bullet hole in his wall, and only then after the detectives informed him that their investigation showed that the damage to the wall had not been caused by a nail gun or a screwdriver.

The Chicago Sun Times reported on his removal from the bench. (Mike Frisch)


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