The Chicago Syndicate: Judge with Distinquished History, Including with Jeff Fort El Rukn Trial and Mob Hitman Harry Aleman Retrial, Denied Endorsement by Democratic Party, in Reputed Retaliation Over Jussie Smollett Fake #MAGA Attack Case

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Judge with Distinquished History, Including with Jeff Fort El Rukn Trial and Mob Hitman Harry Aleman Retrial, Denied Endorsement by Democratic Party, in Reputed Retaliation Over Jussie Smollett Fake #MAGA Attack Case

The Cook County Democratic Party on Monday voted not to endorse the judge who ordered a special prosecutor to investigate how State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office prosecuted charges that actor Jussie Smollett staged a hate crime against himself.

The Tribune reported Cook County Democrats led by Foxx's former boss, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, voted to not endorse Toomin, citing an investigation of his record on overseeing the juvenile justice division, and not the Smollett case.

Toomin cited "unprecedented irregularities" in Foxx's handling of the Smollett case. He appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb as a special prosecutor to investigate. Webb found Foxx and her office abused its prosecutorial discretion and lied to the public, but didn't commit crimes.

On Monday, Toomin issues a statement saying the Democratic Party "ignored 40 years of distinguished service and sought retribution" related to the Smollett case, according to published reports.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, said she was "deeply concerned" about the party's decision. "The optics of this are terrible it looks like retaliation. Not something we should have in this time and I'm deeply concerned about it," the mayor said at an unrelated news conference Monday.

Toomin has a long history handling high-profile cases. In 1988, he sentenced El Rukn gang leader Jeff Fort to 75 years in prison for murder. Toomin ordered a new trial for Chicago Outfit hitman Harry Aleman after it was determined he was acquitted on murder charges after a judge handling the case was bribed. Aleman was convicted and died in prison.

The Smollett case wasn't the first time Toomin ordered Webb to investigate whether political connections in the State's Attorney's office had stood in the way of justice.

In 2012, Toomin ordered a special prosecutor to investigate whether law enforcement officials suppressed evidence to impede the investigation of the death of David Koschman.

Ultimately, Webb indicted former Mayor Richard M. Daley's nephew Richard J. "R.J." Vanecko of delivering the punch that led to Koschman's death. Vanecko ultimately pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

The Cook County Democrats also decided not to endorse Judge Mauricio Araujo, who has been accused of sexual harassment.

Among the judges that did win the party's support was Judge Jackie Portman-Brown, who was caught on video locking up a 10-year old girl in a courthouse jail cell earlier this year to teach her a lesson. Portman-Brown was placed on administrative duty following the incident.

Thanks to Mark Konkol.


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