Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (10th Subcircuit (O'Neill Burke 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.
Over the past 14 years practicing law as an Assistant State's Attorney I have tried 86 jury trials, 69 of those were felonies and 19 of those were murder jury trials. I have tried hundreds of bench trials and motions, I spend every single day in a courtroom standing up on every single case on the call. I have a true belief in the Constitution and the right to a fair trial for everyone. I have devoted my life to public service and take pride in serving the community.
I have had the opportunity to be assigned to numerous courtrooms and try cases in front of numerous judges. I have had the opportunity to see court calls that are run extremely efficiently as well as court calls that are run slow and delayed. I truly understand the need for experience on the bench. An experienced judge means an efficient judge and can ensure that everyone in the courtroom is doing their jobs and working well together, all while insuring justice for the parties.
In my current position I have the unique ability to use my discretion. In criminal law, that discretion is extremely important when you are dealing with young individuals who may have made one mistake and may not deserve a jail sentence. With that discretion I have had the opportunity to do what is fair and find alternative resolutions that resulted in justice for all involved. I seek this position because I have the experience and I believe our justice system needs experienced judges to ensure that the system runs more efficiently.
Cook County is faced with budgetary restraints in every office. A judge who doesn't have the experience just clogs the system. A judge who has the experience allows for the entire process to work and gives all parties a fair forum to state their case and get justice.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
I am a breast cancer survivor. When I was 28 years old I was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. I had a massive surgery, over a year of chemotherapy and radiation. Through that experience I appreciate everyday of life. I was told I would not be able to have children and now I have two (a 4 month old and a 2 year old). I now make time between working full time and taking care of my kids to give back to the community. I volunteer to help underprivileged kids through the Reach Out Community Center near 22nd & Troy in Chicago by volunteering and fundraising and I also sit on the board of directors.