About the Candidate

Name: Pat O’Brien
DOB: May 12, 1950
Occupation: Attorney
Political Experience: Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court
Website: obrienforcook.com
Twitter: @OBrienforSA

Candidate Statement

Hello. My name is Pat O'Brien and I'm running for Cook County State's Attorney.

I’ve been a licensed attorney in Illinois for the past 45 years. I've been a prosecutor for 18 of those years. I've been a practicing attorney for criminal law in private practice. I've also sat in the benches of judge for eight years in criminal and civil court. I was head of the criminal prosecutors for four years while I was in the state's attorney's office.

We need a state's attorney that's a professional, not a politician. Kim Foxx lacks the judgment and integrity.

We also saw in the Jussie Smollett case, she lacked the ability to handle everyone fairly and give them the same rights under the law. She basically gave Jussie Smollett a one of a kind deal and did it for political reasons.

When I'm States Attorney, I will start a rackets unit, which will have 30 assistant state's attorneys with gun, gang and drug prosecution experience. They will attack gangs from investigation to trial, and they will do it as quickly as they can.

I will have a unit that essentially takes witnesses and their children out of the communities where they are and makes them safe in other communities so they can testify against gangs and not fear retaliation.

We need a public corruptions unit that effectively makes sure that persons who are elected to office, aren't basically defrauding and stealing from the public.

Kim Fox is a puppet of the Cook County Democratic machine. She cannot do that and has not done that.

We need to keep communities safe and victims safe. And they're the people that we have to give voice to.

I want to be your State's Attorney. I want to return professionalism to the office. I need your vote.

Thank you very much.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

People in Cook County do not feel safe. Kim Foxx has failed to protect our families, our neighborhoods and the victims of crime. When people think about Kim Foxx, they often think about the Jussie Smollet case, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Kim Foxx’s failures. Even when presented with compelling evidence of criminal wrongdoing Kim Foxx has refused to do her job and has dropped more cases than any previous Cook County State’s Attorney. The latest surge in murders in the City of Chicago is a direct result of Kim Foxx’s failures. She refused to charge over 100 murderers in 2019, more than double any prior state’s attorney, despite the fact she was presented with compelling evidence of these horrendous violent crimes by local law enforcement. It has gotten so bad that the police and the U.S. Attorney’s office have taken the unprecedented step of bypassing Kim Foxx in a desperate attempt to get violent offenders and illegal guns off our streets. We no longer can protect criminals at the expense of the victims and law‐abiding citizens of Cook County. It is time we have a State’s Attorney who is committed to the safety of our neighborhoods and families. That is why I am running for Cook County State’s Attorney. 

What is your vision for this office?

We must bring justice and integrity to Cook County. I pledge that the State’s Attorney’s Office will be professional, apolitical, and committed to the safety of the people of Cook County. In each of these areas, Kim Foxx has failed us.

All Assistant State’s Attorneys must understand they are to enforce the criminal statutes without regard to the power or political influence of outside forces. This office is unique in that the decisions to charge and prosecute violations of the law are not made based on an individual’s social standing, economic status, or political clout. The public may, on occasion, disagree with a decision or an outcome of a case; however, they must be confident that the decision was reasoned and made based only on the law and facts.

As State’s Attorney, I will keep our neighborhoods and families safe, crack down on government and political corruption, and bring integrity to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?

As Cook County State’s Attorney, I will fix the failed policies of Kim Foxx. We can no longer protect criminals at the expense of law‐abiding citizens and victims of crime of Cook County. It’s time we have a State’s Attorney who is committed to the safety of our neighborhoods and families.

I will impose consequences for people who commit crimes. I will vigorously pursue criminal cases to their resolution. I will form a Racket’s Unit that will target gangs, guns, and their lifeline – drugs. I will partner with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocacy groups to ensure the safety of the victims of domestic abuse and rape. In order to protect the witnesses who help secure the convictions of criminals, I will create a Witness and Children Security Program. These are just a few of the things that I will do to free our neighborhoods from the grip of violence. I will bring professionalism and integrity to the State’s Attorney’s Office, ensuring that all Assistant State’s Attorneys understand they are to enforce the law without regard to an individual’s social standing, economic status, or political clout.

I’m not a politician—I’m a former Cook County Judge, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, Assistant Illinois Attorney General, and criminal defense attorney. I have spent my life securing justice for all. I’ve stood up to powerful politicians in both political parties, even when it meant sacrificing my career. Unlike many previous state’s attorneys, especially Kim Foxx, I’m not looking for this position as a stepping‐stone for higher office. My only agenda is to pursue justice for our hurting communities.

Because I’m not a politician, I’m at a disadvantage as a candidate. Kim Foxx is backed by wealthy and powerful special interests that benefit from her continuing reign of corruption. That’s why I need your support.