Insane, and Reelected

Published November 12, 2012

A Cook County Circuit Court judge retained her $182,000-a-year job in Tuesday’s election even while mounting an insanity defense to criminal battery charges against her in another courtroom.

Judge Cynthia Brim, 54, has been on the bench for 18 years. In March, she mounted a 45-minute rant in her Daley Center courtroom in Chicago and shoved a deputy. She hasn’t been at work for seven months but continues to get paid. She needed 60 percent of the vote to be retained; she received 63.5 percent.

Her attorney said she suffers from bipolar disorder. “At that point she is absolutely psychotic in the sense of not having the ability to think straight or to even organize her thinking or to really remember a darn thing that happened,” he said. She has been found legally insane by a psychiatrist, but she refuses to resign. Her doctor has said she can return to work if she stays on her meds.

“This is so sad,” said a John Marshall Law School professor specializing in judicial retention.

Source: Steve Schmadeke, “Judge in court to face charges hours after re-election,” Chicago Tribune, November 8, 2012 h/t overlawyered