1 Resume of: Edna Turkington, J.D. Attorney and Retired Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, State of Illinois Post Office Box Chicago, IL Phone: (312) Fax: (708) Qualifications Summary In 1992, Judge Edna Turkington was first elected to the bench. She served in the Circuit Court of Cook County and was retained in the November 1998 and November 2004 judicial elections. Judge Turkington retired from the bench on December 31, 2006, after 14 years of service. Throughout her judicial career, Judge Turkington has received numerous honors and awards recognizing her many civic contributions and dedication and service to the judicial system and the community. She was honored by the Illinois Supreme Court with an appointment to the Judicial Conference of Illinois in January, She was reappointed each year thereafter until her retirement in Supreme Court appointments are based on the expertise and professional ability of a judge to prepare and present educational materials and recommendations to the Supreme Court of Illinois regarding the education and judicial development of all 800 judges in the State of Illinois. Judge Turkington was appointed to the Study Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Automation and Technology Committee. As a Committee appointee, Judge Turkington reported directly to the members of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Additionally, Judge Turkington has and continues to serve as a certified mediator in the State of Illinois and a certified arbitrator and guardian ad Litem for the State of Illinois. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar, Cook County Bar, Illinois Judicial Council, Women s Bar Association of Illinois, Black Women s Bar Association of Illinois and both the Illinois Judges and American Judges Associations. Experience City of Chicago, Board of Elections Hearing Officer December, 2010 to Present Presided over hearings for prospective candidates for offices where elections are held in the City of Chicago. 1
2 City of Chicago, Department of Human Resources Hearing Officer January, 2007 to December 2011 Conducts administrative hearings in instances of alleged misconduct by career service employees. Presides over appeal hearings brought about by disciplinary action taken against employees by individual city departments. Certified Mediator for State of Illinois January, 2007 to Present Certified Arbitrator for the County of Cook January 2007, to Present Education and Bar Admission Post-Graduate Law: National Judicial College, Reno, NV, Certificates in Judicial Development General Jurisdiction Trial Skills August, 2006 Dispute Resolution Skills, August, 2006 DePaul University College of Law, 1973, J.D. Admitted to Illinois Bar, 1974 Admitted to Federal Bar, 1976 DePaul University, 1969, M.Ed., Mathematics Major Roosevelt University, 1965, B.A., MAJOR Awards and Honors Illinois Judicial Council Career Service Award for Judicial Service 2007 Illinois State Bar Association, Austin Fleming Newsletter Editors Award 2006 Chicago Bar Association, Real Estate Taxation Committee Award 2005 Illinois State Bar Association, Newsletter Editor Award 2004 Illinois Judicial Council, Meritorious Service Award 1998 University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, Friend of 4-H Award Youth as Resources, Distinguished Service Award 1994, 1995, 1996 South Suburban Bar Association, Outstanding Judicial Contributions to the 6 th Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County 1994 Cook County Bar Association, Outstanding Judges Award 1993 Cook County Bar Association, Meritorious Recognition Award Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship, recipient 1973 Chicago Jay-Cees, Ten Outstanding Young People s Award 1974 DePaul University Graduate School, Dean s List DePaul University College of Law, Dean s List Phi Mu Epsilon Mathematician Honor Society, Member Personal Background Married to Philip Viktora, attorney. They have one adult daughter, Elizabeth. 2
3 ROBERT F. HARRIS COOK COUNTY PUBLIC GUARDIAN BIOGRAPHY Robert F. Harris was appointed the Cook County Public Guardian by the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Timothy C. Evans, on December 1, The Cook County Public Guardian s Office is the only law office of its kind that combines the legal representation of abused and neglected children, children in divorce cases, and disabled elderly wards. In the Juvenile Division, the office represents abused, neglected or dependent children as their lawyers and guardians ad litem in Cook County s juvenile court. In the Adult Guardianship Division the office acts as guardian for mostly elderly, adult wards who are disabled due to Alzheimer s or other cognitive functioning challenges. As guardian of the estate, the office manages approximately $100 million dollars of the wards assets and has recovered more than $40 million of assets that were stolen from the wards prior to the office s involvement. In the Domestic Relations Division, the office acts as child representative. The staff of over 240 employees is comprised of approximately 130 lawyers, case managers, paralegals, financial personnel, investigators, a nurse, a psychologist, support staff and others that help the office to fulfill its statutory responsibilities for their clients and wards. Harris began his career with the Office of the Public Guardian as an entry level attorney in While in law school, he worked at the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic to represent residents of the Cabrini Green Housing Complex in civil, criminal and juvenile matters. Prior to going to law school, Harris was an engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Honeywell, Inc. He graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering and from DePaul University College of Law with a Juris Doctor. Harris has locally and nationally presented, lectured, or acted as a panelist on issues regarding children or the elderly at Chicago Kent College of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Northwestern University Law School, DePaul University College of Law, National Association of Counsel for Children (2005), University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (2005), Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Services (2006), Chicago Bar Association, American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and National Black Child Development Institute. Harris has appeared in both print and broadcast media including the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Defender, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, WVON-AM, CNN, Prime Time, ABC, NBC, FOX, CLTV, Chicago Tonight and N Digo Magapaper. He has received several awards and certificates for his work with children and the elderly from organizations such as DePaul University College of Law (Outstanding Service to the Profession Alumni Award), Reclaim A Youth Foundation (Lifetime Achievement Award), Cook County Juvenile Court Child Protection Division, Habilitative Systems, Inc., Cook County Bar Association (Ida B. Platt Award), national Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (John J. Regan Writing Award), was recognized as a community leader in Who s Who in Black Chicago, and was a 2007 Fellow in Leadership Greater Chicago.
4 BIOGRAPHY OF JUDGE MICHAEL P. TOOMIN In December 2010, Judge Toomin was appointed Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Justice Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, one of the largest juvenile court systems in the nation. In that capacity, Toomin maintains administrative and supervisory authority over 15 judges, who preside over delinquency matters throughout the county. Judge Toomin s present assignment follows upon his appointment as Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court ( ). Upon completion of service in the United States Marine Corps ( ), Toomin received a B.A. from Northwestern University (1962) and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law (1967). In 2009, Toomin was the recipient of DePaul s award for Outstanding Service to the Profession. Upon admission to the Illinois Bar, Toomin initially served as a felony trial assistant in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender and later entered private practice, concentrating on the defense of criminal cases in federal and state courts. Judge Toomin s judicial career began in 1980 with his selection as an associate judge. He has been a circuit judge since the November 1984 election, most of that time at the Criminal Courts Building, 26th and California. In 1994, Toomin was appointed a supervising judge and was later named acting Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. In his judicial career, Toomin presided over some 630 murder cases, including more than 400 jury trials. Over the past three decades, Judge Toomin has been favored with a wide variety of professional appointments complementing his courtroom duties. He recently resigned as Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court s Special Committee on Capital Cases, after serving on the panel for more than a decade. The Committee, formed in the wake of then-governor George Ryan s moratorium on executions, implemented new rules for capital punishment trials and created training programs and qualification standards for judges and attorneys handling death penalty cases. Highlighting the Committee s work, in 2004 Toomin authored, Capital Punishment Reform and the Illinois Supreme Court: At the Forefront of Change, 92 Ill. B.J. 642 (December 2004). He was also a member of the Illinois Senate Democratic Criminal Justice Task Force.
5 In 2004, Judge Toomin was selected to serve as a Commissioner of the CLEAR Initiative, created to review and reform the Illinois Criminal Code: His service on the Commission culminated in the publication of another article he authored; Second Degree Murder and Attempted Murder: CLEAR s Efforts to Maneuver the Slippery Slope, 41 J. Marshall L.Rev. 659 (2008). Toomin previously served as Chair of the Committee on Criminal Law and Probation of the Illinois Judicial Conference and as vice-chair of the Cook County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Also, from 2005 to 2008, he was a member of the Illinois Courts Commission, the tribunal created to preside over matters involving judicial discipline. In 2010, Toomin was appointed to the Board of Commissioners of the State Appellate Defender s Office. Judge Toomin s judicial and professional duties have been augmented by extensive teaching engagements. From 1983 to 2000, he was an adjunct professor at the Northwestern University School of Law, on a team teaching trial advocacy. In 2002 and 2003, Toomin served in a similar capacity at Emory University. Also, in 1996 and 1996, he served on the faculty of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. Additionally, over the years, Toomin chaired or participated in numerous conferences and seminars relating to death penalty litigation, jury trial management, criminal procedure, and forensic DNA evidence offered by the Illinois Judicial Conference, the Cook County State s Attorney s Office, and the Law Office of the Cook county Public Defender. He has also lectured at courses for aspiring detectives at the Chicago Police Academy
6 Hon. Abishi C. Cunningham Jr. (Ret.) The Public Defender Biographical Sketch Judge Cunningham brings decades of experience as a defense attorney, a prosecutor and a judge to this position. Prior to becoming the Public Defender, he served on the Cook County Circuit Court from 1986, to 2009, where he s presided over thousands of bench trials and hundreds of jury trials, in both criminal and civil cases. His last assignment was to the Law Division, where he presided over civil jury trials in areas that included personal injury/wrongful death, motor vehicle injury, medical malpractice, product liability, commercial litigation and breach of contract. Judge Cunningham graduated from Fisk University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science Degree, and from Northwestern University School of Law in He served as legal advisor to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction from , when he left to join the Cook County State s Attorney s Office as a felony trial assistant and then as Chief of the Vertical Prosecutions Unit. In 1976, Judge Cunningham joined the Criminal Defense Consortium of Cook County as a Supervising Attorney working out of the Lawndale office of the Consortium. The Consortium consisted of a network of six community-based law offices providing criminal defense services for indigent residents of the community accused in felony, misdemeanor and juvenile cases. After a period in private practice as a litigator in criminal and civil defense, Judge Cunningham rejoined the Office of the Cook County State s Attorney, where he supervised 40 Assistant States Attorneys responsible for prosecuting all criminal misdemeanor and quasi-criminal cases in the City of Chicago, as well as advised the office on legislative issues. He left this position to join the bench in Judge Cunningham was appointed by the Chief Judge to mentor newly appointed and elected judges, and is certified in Comprehensive mediation in the State of Illinois. His professional affiliations include membership in the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Cook County Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Public Defender Association and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. He has been an adjunct professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was also an adjunct professor at the DePaul University School of Law and the John Marshall School of Law.
7 ELIZABETH (BETSY) CLARKE Betsy Clarke is currently the founder and President of the Juvenile Justice Initiative, a statewide advocacy organization to promote rational and effective juvenile justice policies in Illinois. The privately funded Juvenile Justice Initiative began in 2000 with a mission to transform the juvenile justice system in Illinois by reducing reliance on confinement, enhancing fairness for all youth, and developing a comprehensive continuum of community-based resources throughout the state. The JJI has successfully advocated for statutory reforms, including: Raising the age of juvenile court to bring seventeen year olds charged with misdemeanors back to juvenile court; Shifting fiscal priorities by creating and funding fiscal realignment through Redeploy Illinois to fund counties to decrease youth incarceration; Reducing transfers by the elimination of trial of youth charged with drug offenses in the adult court; Early appointment of counsel for juveniles in detention; and The creation of a new Dept. of Juvenile Justice to shift the youth facility culture from punishment to treatment. Prior to developing the Juvenile Justice Initiative, Betsy served as Juvenile Justice Counsel for the Office of the Cook County Public Defender for six years, and served for 15 years in the Office of the State Appellate Defender, including appointments as Legislative Liaison and Juvenile Justice Coordinator. Betsy has authored numerous articles, including the chapter on Appellate Review in the IICLE Juvenile Law Handbook, and a detailed study of the Illinois juvenile transfer provisions published in the National Journal of the Juvenile and Family Court Judge s Association. She has been honored by the National Coalition for Juvenile Justice, the Illinois Public Defender Association, the Illinois Probation Association, the Illinois Attorneys for Criminal Justice, the Illinois State Bar Association, and was named a Champion for Change in 2009 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation s Models for Change Initiative.
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