Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (1st Subcircuit (Hambright Jr. Vacancy district)
Responses to our questions
Please submit an essay that explains your legal background, why you are qualified for this position and why you seek this position.
I was Appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as Cook County Circuit Court Judge to the 1st Judicial Sub-circuit vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Orville E. Hambright, Jr.
I am assigned to the First Municipal District presiding over felony preliminary hearings, misdemeanor, and traffic cases. Prior to my appointment to the bench, I practiced law for nearly twenty years in various capacities.
I began my career clerking in Chicago at several legal offices including the Chicago Housing Authority continuing on to become a solo practitioner. Most recently, I advocated for the indigent as a Will County Assistant Public Defender serving as a felony supervisor and an organizing member of the Will County Mental Health Court. As a former public defender I handled a myriad of legal matters ranging from misdemeanors to civil commitment hearings to murder.
I have represented countless clients and worked with dozens of colleagues and judges, all with different personalities and temperaments. I advocated for my clients and for what was just and fair. I gave a great amount of detail and research to my work. My job did not stop once I left the office. I worked at home, on weekends and holidays.
I have argued and tried over 130 motions and trials. I have served the public and profession with exemplary integrity and pride. I have volunteered and served on managing boards of various community and professional organizations. I served on the late Judy Baar Topinka's, Illinois State Comptroller, African American Advisory Council providing insight and suggestions on programming. I also supported the Boy Scouts by working with their Rainbow Council Juvenile Diversion Program where I served as a mentor holding monthly instructional meetings on criminal law as well as generating conversation on topics discussed by speakers.
I am a founding member and former president of the Black Bar Association of Will County. The BBA serves the community with expungement seminars, pro bono legal services, college scholarships and partnering with other bar associations, community organizations and community outreach projects. I am a former chair of our annual Barrister's Ball and Clothing Drive.
I am a public servant that donates time and gives back to the community whenever I am called to serve. My slogan is No Payne. No Gain. The slogan may just sound like a play on words utilizing my last name. I assure you it is not. The slogan expresses the power behind my strength to be of great service to the citizens of Cook County. This is so based on my knowledge, experience, character, integrity, morals and compassion.
When one examines the definition of the word "Gain", it is defined as to obtain or secure (something desired, favorable or profitable). My election to the Cook County Judiciary on March 20, 2018 means the people will secure my position to give back to the citizens of Cook County. My win will allow my continued practice of being fair and just, over every case, regardless of how big or small. The "Gain" will not only be for the Cook County Citizens. I will also gain more knowledge and experience as well, in my capacity as servant to the people. I am proud to serve the citizens of Cook County and add value to the Cook County Bench.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
My first "baby" was my black lab, Onyx. May he RIP.