Tom Sam Sianis
Democratic candidate for Cook County Circuit (Dooling 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 strongly believe in our legal system and have been a proud member of the legal profession for over thirteen years. A seat at the bench would be a great honor and opportunity to apply the extensive knowledge of laws and court procedures I have gained during my career in public service at the Illinois Secretary of State Securities Department, the Illinois Attorney General's Office, and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. I have been found Qualified and Recommended by all of the evaluating Bar Associations.
In addition, my life experience as a business co-owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, husband, and father, add depth to my ability to understand people and a variety of different life situations and circumstances. As the current Enforcement Division Chief of the Illinois Securities Department, I supervise twelve attorneys, five special agents, and six investigators.
I devise investigative plans and strategies to determine what action to take on violations of the Illinois Securities Law of 1953. I investigate financial fraud and work hand in hand with prosecutors to develop successful convictions in securities fraud cases. Furthermore, I oversee the registrations of Investment Advisors and Broker Dealers in our state. With my experience in the Securities Department, I am an expert in regulatory matters dealing with the State.
Recently, I was appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General with the Illinois Attorney General's Office. My experience as a former prosecutor and my knowledge in securities law has proven very valuable to the Attorney General's office and its prosecution of financial crimes. As a Cook County Assistant State's Attorney for over seven and a half years, I tried numerous jury trials and hundreds of bench trials.
The trial experience I gained is very valuable to a sitting judge. I have hands on courtroom litigation experience before State Courts. As an Assistant State's Attorney, I prosecuted cases involving Domestic Violence, Criminal Sexual Assault, Child Support Enforcement, DUIs and indicted cases of Murder and other violent felonies. The combination of my experience in trial court and with administrative legal proceedings has given me a deep knowledge of the law and improved my communication and writing skills.
I have come across and worked with outstanding judges and lawyers. I believe my professional background has given me the aptitude to effectively serve the public as a judge. My life experience and temperament are also why I believe I am qualified to be a judge. My personal qualities of patience, humility, and the willingness to consider opposing viewpoints are necessary to decide disputes in a fair and judicial manner. Both in my legal practice and my personal life, I have come across a wide variety of people with unique situations.
I have always and continue to work at closely listening to what each person has to say in order to understand different viewpoints and circumstances. As a husband and father, I continue my record of public service with my family in mind, and the example I wish to set for my two sons and all of our young citizens. It is part of my life's goals to teach young people the importance of giving back to our community and living in a united society.
My parents instilled in me a deep devotion to my family and dedication to hard work. I am the second of six siblings, all raised in the Chicago land area by our immigrant parents. After many years of hard work, my father, the owner of the original Billy Goat Tavern has expanded to several more locations. My parents demanded the same determination to succeed in life from their six children.
Today, I am also a business co-owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, and know firsthand the personal and legal challenges and concerns of running a successful and growing business including, branding, licensing and expanding the business to retail. The combination of my experience as a securities regulator, trial attorney, business co-owner, husband, and father, has made me a skilled lawyer with unique talents and knowledge that enable me to see issues from many perspectives and come to rational, unbiased decisions.
I have always taken my professional and private life seriously and would uphold a seat at the bench with the utmost respect and professionalism.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
On October 6, 2016, 71 years after my great uncle Bill Sianis was kicked out of Wrigley Field along with his mascot goat and put a hex on the Cubs, my family and I hosted a Reverse the Curse Fundraiser at the Billy Goat Tavern on Michigan Ave where all proceeds went to the Hippocratic Cancer Research Foundation. We rang the bell that the goat wore in 1945 in a ceremony to finally end the legendary Cubs Curse. As we all know, a few weeks later, the Cubs won the World Series.