A Cook County judge caught making disparaging comments about a lawyer in a courtroom livestream this month has been temporarily removed from the bench and ordered to undergo sensitivity training.
Judge William Raines has been assigned “restricted duties or duties other than judicial duties” and must receive awareness training and counseling on gender bias, under an order from Chief Justice Timothy Evans.
“The comments likely constituted a violation of the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct, and the committee ordered the incident be referred to the Judicial Inquiry Board,” Evans’ office said in a statement Wednesday.
The Chicago Tribune first reported on the incident last week. Raines was overheard on a YouTube live stream by his court attorney, Jennifer Bonjean.
“Can you imagine waking up next to her every day? Oh my god,” Raines said in Bonjean on Jan. 11, according to the Tribune. “…I couldn’t imagine that if you paid me.”
Raines further added, “…Did you see how she went insane? Glasses off, fingers through her hair, phone going all over the place, it’s crazy,” according to the Tribune. Video of the incident is no longer on the court’s YouTube page.
Bonjean responded to a tweet about the incident last week by saying, “I don’t like doing the news this way. But if it draws attention to judges who shouldn’t be on the bench, then so be it.” She also called the comments “sexist” and “offensive” in an interview with WGN Radio.
The Cook County District Court executive committee made the decision to remand Raines, who expressed “remorse” over the incident.
By Evans’ order, Judge Sophia Hall, the presiding judge for the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Division, will “supervise and mentor Judge Raines and report to the Executive Committee on the status of the training and advice within 90 days.”
Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson | [email protected] | (773) 509-5431