Judge Wants Back on Bench After Insanity Ruling

Steve Schmadeke, Chicago Tribune, March 26, 2014

Can a suspended Cook County judge return to the bench after being declared legally insane at the time she shoved a sheriff’s deputy in 2012?

For the first time in Illinois, attorneys on the case say, a judicial disciplinary panel has begun tackling the question of whether a judge whose psychotic episodes can apparently be controlled through medication should be allowed to return to the bench.

Judge Cynthia Brim, 55, testified before the Illinois Courts Commission for more than two hours on Friday in a bid to save her $182,000-a-year job. The seven-member panel–made up of judges from outside of Cook County as well as two citizens–will later issue a written decision.

Cynthia Brim

Cynthia Brim

Brim was found not guilty of misdemeanor battery by reason of insanity last year for shoving a sheriff’s deputy outside the Daley Center during a manic episode in March 2012. A day earlier, while on the bench, she broke into an extended rant while presiding over a traffic court call at the Markham courthouse.

“I just broke like a pencil,” Brim told the commission Friday, saying she was feeling stressed that day because there was only one courtroom deputy present for a busy call. “It was totally inappropriate for me to say what I did at that time–or any other time.”

Brim was effectively suspended from her duties as a judge after the battery charges were filed but was nonetheless returned to the bench by voters weeks later. She has continued to collect her $182,000 salary since her 2012 suspension.

On Friday, Brim said she was once again able to fulfill her duties as judge. Over the last two years, she said, she has consistently taken her medications–a requirement of her probation in the battery case–and has not had any psychotic episodes.


But John Gallo, an attorney for the Judicial Inquiry Board that filed the disciplinary charges, questioned whether it was proper to return Brim to the bench.

If she was allowed to serve again, parties who had important cases before her would soon learn about her past and wonder about her ability, he said.

“They’re looking at a judge who said to a court that she was at one point in time . . . insane,” Gallo said.

Brim “bears some responsibility for putting herself” in the position that led to her highly public breakdown in 2012, he said.

“Judge Brim decided to go without any kind of psychiatric treatment of any sort after 15-plus years of these episodes while she was a sitting judge,” Gallo said.

Brim, who has been hospitalized at least nine times for mental illness since 1994, acknowledged she had once been carried out of a Bridgeview courtroom on a stretcher after going “catatonic” during her court call. Her physicians had repeatedly allowed her to discontinue taking mood-stabilizing drugs, she said, but she wasn’t diagnosed with a bipolar type of schizoaffective disorder until 2009.



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  • MekongDelta69

    “Can a suspended Cook County judge return to the bench after being declared legally insane at the time she shoved a sheriff’s deputy in 2012?”

    Of course!! She’s black – and insane. Say no more…

    • NoMosqueHere

      She’s got it all.

    • DNA Explains It All

      She’s black – and insane.

      A bit redundant don’t ya think?

      • Jesse_from_Sweden

        Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.

    • Jesse James

      Oh yes exactly the sort of judge I would like to have to finally eradicate the last remnants of my white privilege!

    • r j p

      Can a White male be denied admission to the bar in Illinois for being head of the World Church of the Creator? Sure, ask Matthew Hale.


      “Of course!! She’s black – and insane. Say no more…”
      And from Illinois where two of our last three governors were incarcerated.

  • borogirl54

    Let’s be honest, I would not want her to judge my case. Regardless if she was on medication or not. Personally, I think it would better off if the court system would just allow her to retire for medical reasons.

  • D.B. Cooper

    Actually, I think you white people up in Illinois need Brim back on the bench, at full pay. I mean, she did win back in 2012 with over 63% of the vote!

    • Oil Can Harry

      And to think we were benefiting from her legal wisdom and it only cost us $182,000 a year.

      What a bargain!!!

  • If she oversees criminal cases, every convicted defendant can appeal based on her mental state.

    • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

      And misconduct doesn’t even need to be proven, e.g. the convictions in the Knoxville Horror thrown out because Judge Baumgartner was a drug addict.

  • Ronald

    This judge should be given the credit she deserves. At least she ADMITS she is nuts.

  • dd121

    I’m very relieved to hear that she’s made a full recovery. Now we can get us some REAL justice.

  • Luca

    From another article; “While hearing a traffic call at the Markham courthouse on March 8, 2012, Brim stopped her work, sat silently for a few minutes and then told those in court that her grandmother had been raped by a white man, that the South Holland and Evergreen Park police departments were targeting blacks and Hispanics and that “justice is all about if you’re black or white,” according to the complaint.”

    No matter how many affirmative action degrees they are gifted or how ever much White DNA they possess, they are still inclined to racist rants. And while the medical community likes to assign names for her disorder like “Bipolar” or “schizoaffective”, it’s really nothing more than a chimpout episode. And any company that can find a cure for that, will quickly make a fortune over night.

    • Rhialto

      There is a cure, but it became illegal throughout America in 1865.

  • Who Me?

    Okay, we got us an insane, black, female judge, who has been having these episodes for 15 years, and has been hospitalized at least nine times for mental illness since 1994. But she’s on medicine now–what psychotropic drugs? She’s admittedly and openly racist, and feels that the police and courts are targeting blacks and Hispanics unfairly…By all means I want her judging my case. NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!

  • Sloppo

    This insane judge should be allowed back on the bench because it’s racist to require blacks to be either sane or competent. Judging is not a very complicated job anyway. All she has to remember is to always rule in favor of the party with the most melanin.

  • More diversity worship. How about a nut job for POTUS to placate the nut job “community.” After all, “Die-versity is our strength.” A nut job with his/her finger on the nuclear trigger. I’m lovin’ it. NOT.

  • Tarczan

    It seems the mentally unbalanced defense is the best she could come up with. I doubt she is really mentally ill, just a darkie with low self control.

  • So CAL Snowman

    Promote her to the SCOTUS asap! Come on Obama, yes we can! Oops I meant, Si se puede! Sorry about that folks, I will flagellate myself in private for my racist transgressions and my White supremacist projection of English as superior to spanish.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    America must become diverse even if it completely destroys the country. The multiculturalists are bigoted extremists who do not care about the safety, health or well-being of the mainstream population, especially whites.

  • An insanity ruling, and this thing expects back at a bench? She’s still insane!

    • Pro_Whitey

      Maybe only until her pension vests.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Brim has been diagnosed with schizoaffective and bipolar disorder, hospitalized multiple times for mental illness since 1993, takes psychotropic medication regularly (or is supposed to) and is under psychiatric care.

    Well, she HAS had two years to think about it since her 2012 suspension for battery — while collecting her $182,000 salary.

    Now, she wants to get back on the bench to continue her racist agenda.

    I see no problem here. She’s got all the proper qualifications to be fast tracked onto the Supreme Court.

    • SFLBIB

      She’d fit right in.

  • borogirl54

    This reminds me of a lyric of a Helen Reddy song called Angie Baby, about an insane girl. “It so nice to be insane, no one asks you to explain.”

  • Jesse James

    Why does everything in this country seem to be from a script written by acid tripping writers from the old Mad Magazine?

  • MBlanc46

    Ah heck, being insane might be an asset for a Cook County judge.

  • r j p

    Markham is a dump, a ghetto 80+% black suburb of Chicago.
    Why is Illinois broke?
    Because it is paying people like her $182,000-a-year to provide over traffic court cases.

  • An issue that merits serious consideration here is that if Brim is allowed back to the bench, every single legal decision she makes will be subject to challenge due to her mental impairment. Whatever her current emotional and intellectual states are, she’s worthless as a judge for this reason.

  • Grantland

    How ridiculous. It’s like employing a chimpanzee as a janitor and then holding a serious disciplinary inquiry when it poops in the corridor.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    A defense attorneys dream. Imagine a trial in which this judge has to make numerous rulings, any of which will (after conviction) be subject to appeal. But then the criminal justice system in this area went insane a long time ago so she’ll blend in nicely.

  • scutum

    What difference will it make if this Negroe is put back on the bench. The legal system in this country is a travesty and one more chimp engaging in legal malpractice isn’t going to make it any worse.


    Q: What do you call an attorney with an IQ of 70?

    A: “Your honor.”

    Lawyer: You performed the autopsy on the victim?

    Medical Examiner [ME]: Yes.

    Lawyer: Was the victim dead at the time you performed the autopsy?

    ME: Yes.

    Lawyer: Isn’t it possible that he was still alive?

    ME: No, it is not possible.

    Lawyer: How can you be so sure?

    ME: His brain was in a jar on my desk.

    Lawyer: But isn’t it possible that he still could have been

    ME: Yes, and practicing law.

    So, you see, an IQ of 70 is not required.

  • She’s been hospitalized at least 9 times since 1994 and has been on medications. Only in Chicango can this go on without making a national news. Since 1994 she has been drugged up and ruled in court and that’s normal? Only when blacks are in charge.

  • Dale McNamee

    This is beyond comment…

  • Dale McNamee

    The picture in this article says it all…
    I’m glad that I don’t live in Cook County…

  • Paleo

    That this mentally ill woman is unfit to serve as a laundromat attendant isn’t the issue. That the reporter for the Chicago Tribune neglected to say that this woman was a sainted “African-American” is. You can bet your bottom dollar had this been recognition for some grand and glorious achievement, the article would have been saturated with one “African-American” accolade after another. The deliberate media bias is that obvious!