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Rhonda Crawford, a former law clerk running for an open seat on the Chicago bench, came forward for the first time to give her side of the story after getting fired for allegedly posing as a judge, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Crawford is a lawyer who has long wanted to become a judge. She worked as a law clerk in the Circuit Court of Cook County, under Chief Judge Timothy Evans. After winning a primary election for an open seat in the 1st Judicial Sub-circuit, Crawford started shadowing judges, but crossed a line when she pretended to be one.

During a news conference on Thursday, Crawford stated that Judge Valarie Turner urged her to put on her robe and sit at her bench. But the shadowing process went one step further.

“The judge stood over me the entire time, while she decided the last three cases on her court call. I was always under the direction of the judge,” Crawford insisted.

The judicial candidate denied deciding any of those cases on her own.

However, the chief judge fired Crawford and reassigned Turner to administrative duties, alleging that the law clerk decided at least three traffic cases.

According to The Tribune, the state’s attorney’s office is now investigating the episode, which could result in charges.

Nevertheless, Crawford stated at the news conference that her campaign for judge moves forward.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter


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