Sunday, January 25, 2009

Judge Who Pled Guilty to DUI Still Earning Her $150,000 Salary

Secret discipline of $150,000-a-year DUI judge could take two years:
She quietly pleaded guilty to drunken driving and was sentenced on the day President Obama was inaugurated.

But it may be another two years before Cook County Judge Sheila McGinnis is disciplined by the authorities who oversee Illinois judges - if they discipline her, according to the executive director of the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.

McGinnis on Tuesday dodged a potential one-year jail term when she admitted drunkenly crashing her Chevrolet sport utility vehicle into the back of a family-of-four's minivan May 9 in Tinley Park....

Judge Edward Burmila fined McGinnis $1,000, ordered her to complete an 18-month probation stint, to attend counseling and to attend a victim impact panel during a brief hearing at the Markham courthouse.

The sentence was normal for a first-time offender, Burmila said.

But McGinnis, a cousin of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, continues to draw a $150,000 judge's salary from the county. She was transferred from a criminal courtroom to administrative duties at the Daley Center after her arrest last summer....

A SouthtownStar survey of Illinois Court Commission records shows that not one of the eight Illinois judges investigated for DUIs since 1973 has been removed from the bench for even one day.

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