Commission: Don't let lawyer who played judge be judge

Rhonda Crawford

An oversight commission wants Illinois' Supreme Court to stop a Chicago-area lawyer accused of impersonating a judge from being sworn in as an actual judge.

The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission asks in a toughly worded filing unsealed this week that Rhonda Crawford's law license be suspended during disciplinary proceedings. It says the 45-year-old Democrat's ascension to the bench threatens "the orderly administration of justice." She's on next month's general election ballot for a judgeship.

The filing accuses Crawford of engaging in fraud and deceit by donning a Cook County judge's robe on Aug. 11 and hearing traffic cases. She was a court staff attorney at the time. If she's exonerated, any license suspension would be lifted.

The suspended Cook County staff attorney and law clerk declared her indiscretion minor in September.

"I was encouraged to put on the judge's robe. I appreciated the opportunity to learn, now of course, I regret the day it happened," Crawford said.

Crawford has said the matter has been overblown. A Friday message for her attorney wasn't returned.

WLS-TV contributed to this report.
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