CHICAGO — WGN Investigates obtained a video Tuesday that appeared to show a Cook County judge dropping a gun inside a courthouse lobby.
Judge Joseph Claps is seen in the video wearing a white shirt and sunglasses holding his jacket in his arm.
He was walking through the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue when a gun appears to drop to the ground.
The judge nonchalantly picked it up, put it in his front pocket and kept on walking.
EXCLUSIVE: Cook County Judge Joseph Claps placed on "non-judicial duty" and charged with misdemeanor after video appears to show him dropping a gun, then picking it up in courthouse lobby. More on @WGNNews at 4pm. @WGNInvestigates pic.twitter.com/aqnVBAAE6Y
— Ben Bradley (@BenBradleyTV) July 10, 2018
A Cook County sheriff’s deputy who witnessed the incident notified superiors, who reviewed videotape. The sheriff’s office says Judge Claps has a concealed-carry permit but is not authorized to carry a gun at the courthouse.
He’s now been charged with possessing a weapon on a prohibited location, a misdemeanor. The sheriff`s office says the judge was very cooperative in its investigation.
The judge was placed on non-judicial duties pending an executive committee meeting.