Judge Removed, Sidley Partner Prosecutes Disciplinary Case

Sept. 30, 2019, 6:43 PM

An Illinois state court judge was ordered removed from the bench after a regulatory body said he lied to police about firing a gun into a neighbor’s apartment and tried to retaliate against female colleagues who filed sex harassment complaints against him.

The Illinois Courts Commission levied the punishment on Sept. 27 against Patrick O’Shea, who’d been a judge in DuPage County outside Chicago for six years. His removal is effective Oct. 1, according to the court commission order.

Sidley Austin partner Kevin Fee led the disciplinary prosecution in his role as lead trial counsel to the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.

“The Board feels this is a just result in what it has always considered a very important case,” Fee said in a statement. “The misconduct outlined in the Board’s complaint is serious, and the Commission’s sanction is a recognition of its gravity.”

O’Shea was acquitted last year of a reckless conduct charge stemming from firing a gun in his apartment, local news reports said.

The gunshot comprised two of four counts the inquiry board brought against O’Shea last October. The other counts regarded a finding that O’Shea retaliated against court employees who made sex harassment complaints against him.

The inquiry board found that O’Shea exploited his position in attempts to retaliate against the employees in an effort to have them fired.

O’Shea told colleagues that he had documented mistakes one of the women had made in an effort to “build a case” that would be filed with the court’s human resources department, according to the board complaint. He also filed a complaint against the other with court administrative officials.

A phone number for O’Shea listed by the DuPage County court was directed to the chief judge’s office. An assistant said she would try to locate O’Shea to relay a request for comment.

O’Shea was represented by Adrian Vuckovich, who did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Fee became the inquiry board’s lead trial counsel in 2017 and has overseen the filing of five cases before the board. In an Aug. 19 hearing for the O’Shea matter, Fee called 10 witnesses in support of the case.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at rstrom@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com

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