Law clerk charged with posing as judge wins real judicial election

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHICAGO — A law clerk who faces charges of impersonating a judge has been elected as a judge in the Chicago area even though she’s been barred from taking the office.

Rhonda Crawford had been expected to win Tuesday’s election over a write-in opponent, as she was the only name listed on the ballot. The 45-year-old can’t be sworn in to the $180,000-a-year job unless she’s cleared of wrongdoing.

The former nurse was fired from her courthouse job and criminally charged for donning a black robe and presiding over traffic cases that should’ve been heard by a real judge. The Illinois Supreme Court temporarily suspended her law license.

Crawford has said she’d been shadowing judges, observing how they work, when Judge Valarie Turner “encouraged” her to put on the robe and preside.