A Cook County judge who was caught on a courtroom livestream this month making disparaging comments about an attorney has been temporarily removed from the bench and ordered to undergo sensitivity training.
Judge William Raines has been placed on “restricted duties or duties other than judicial duties” and must receive sensitivity training and gender bias counseling, according to an order from Chief Judge Timothy Evans.
“The comments were likely a violation of the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct, and the committee directed that 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 livestream of his court ridiculing attorney Jennifer Bonjean.
“Can you imagine waking up next to her every day? Oh, my God,” Raines said on Jan. 11 of Bonjean, according to the Tribune. “... I couldn’t have a visual on that if you paid me.”
Raines further added: “... Did you see her going nuts? Glasses off, fingers through her hair, the phone’s going all over the place, it’s insane,” according to the Tribune. The video of the incident is no longer on the court’s YouTube page.
Bonjean responded to a tweet about the incident last week saying: “I don’t like to make the news this way. But if it brings attention to judges who have no business being on the bench, so be it.” She also called the remarks “sexist” and “offensive” in an interview with WGN Radio.
The Executive Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County made the decision to reassign Raines, who “expressed contrition” about the incident.
Per Evans' order, Judge Sophia Hall, the presiding judge of the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Resource Section, will “monitor and mentor Judge Raines and report to the Executive Committee within 90 days on the status of the training and counseling.”