DuPage County judge ousted over 2017 gun incident found guilty of aggravated assault

A former DuPage County judge removed from the bench over allegations he lied to police about a shooting has been found guilty of threatening two neighbors with a shotgun.

Patrick J. O'Shea, 73, of Lombard is due to be sentenced Oct. 4 by DuPage Judge Monique O'Toole. She found him guilty of misdemeanor aggravated assault and disorderly conduct charges on Sept. 18.

O'Shea, you may recall, has been in trouble with guns before. In 2017, while he was still on the bench, O'Shea was charged with reckless conduct after authorities said he fired a handgun in his Wheaton apartment.

A bullet went through a wall and into a neighbor's apartment, but nobody was injured.

O'Shea was acquitted; the Kane County judge assigned to the case ruled prosecutors had not proven the judge behaved recklessly. (The neighbors were not home.)

O'Shea lost his job, though, for lying to police during the investigation. The Illinois Courts Commission ousted him in 2019.

In the most recent case, Lombard police said that on Oct. 14, 2021, O'Shea drove past two men standing in front of a house on his block. He went back to his home, returned with a pump-action shotgun and started racking it in a threatening manner, according to police.

O'Shea claimed he was taking the gun to a shooting range and could not find its case, according to a police report.

The report also states O'Shea and one of the neighbors "had a negative history" concerning a dispute over the former judge's dog possibly defecating on the neighbor's lawn.

Police searched O'Shea's house and found 29 guns. They petitioned the Illinois State Police to revoke O'Shea's firearm owners identification card, stating he was "a clear and present danger" to himself or others. The outcome of that request is not known.

O'Shea was a DuPage County Board member for 22 years, and a judge from 2012 to October 2017.

Lawyer disciplined again

Aurora defense attorney Alison Motta is facing consequences for her actions in a federal courtroom six years ago and also in the trial of a suspected serial killer in Nebraska.

The Illinois Supreme Court last week announced that Motta's law license has been suspended for 90 days. The suspension is stayed while she completes one year of probation, however. She also was ordered to attend a refresher course on how to behave professionally.

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission alleges in a 2021 complaint that Motta intentionally acted in ways to disrupt the courts, prejudicing the administration of justice.

In 2017, while representing a woman in federal court in Chicago, Motta landed in the courthouse clink for a day after taking pictures of images the prosecution showed during closing arguments.

It is against federal court rules to take pictures in the courthouse.

Motta already had incurred the displeasure of the judge several times, according to a federal complaint against her, for rolling her eyes and muttering criticisms. That included disagreeing with the judge overruling an objection. You just can't drop an F-bomb in court, loud enough for the jury, the judge, the prosecutor and people in the gallery to hear.

Motta was prohibited from practicing in the federal court system's Northern District of Illinois for 90 days, and from arguing cases for a year.

In the 2016 Nebraska case, Motta, her husband Robert Motta Jr., and his father were representing Anthony Garcia, who was accused of four murders.

Before the trial, the defense received information about an unrelated 2007 murder, but was ordered by a judge not to discuss it publicly.

Several days before Garcia's trial, police arrested another person in the 2007 murder. Motta then told newspaper and TV reporters she had DNA evidence in the 2007 case and it would clear her client.

Incensed, the judge revoked her privilege as a visiting attorney.

Garcia was convicted and sentenced to death.

Bail debate continues

Over the past year, McHenry County State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally has been among the suburbs' most outspoken opponents of the state's move to eliminate cash bail.

Even after the change went into effect Sept. 18, Kenneally has continued his campaign against the change - a key element of the controversial SAFE-T Act - and its supporters.

"Over the past week, numerous constituents have reached out to the office in disbelief that they had been lied to about the SAFE-T Act and wanted some type of proof or confirmation from our office that it was as flawed as we claimed," Kenneally said in a written statement Monday. "No doubt, the savvy and well-funded public relations of the activist groups that wrote the legislation and their political patrons have caused most of the confusion. These proponents, who sought to re-imagine the criminal justice system, succeeded only in enacting an objectively bad law."

Kenneally took aim in particular at Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who he accused of "disingenuously" tweeting about the law.

On the first two days after the switch to cashless bail, Kenneally issued statements listing cases in which he believed dangerous defendants had been set free. They included a 19-year-old man accused of pulling what appeared to be a gun on a Metra conductor, and a 36-year-old man accused of kicking the door at the home of an ex-girlfriend who has a protective order against him.

Hanging it up

Farewell to Hoffman Estates Deputy Police Chief Greg Poulos, who retired this week after 30 years with the department.

Poulos began his career Sept. 24, 1993, and soon earned an assignment as a tactical officer.

While he rose through the ranks over the years - with stops along the way as a patrol sergeant, patrol watch commander and technical services bureau commander - tactical work remained a large part of his service.

He represented Hoffman Estates on the NIPAS (Northern Illinois Police Alarm System) Emergency Services Team, a regional SWAT unit, for more than two decades. He also served 10 years on the board of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association.

"He is a valued member and will truly be missed," the department said in an announcement of his retirement.

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McHenry County State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally, shown here during a 2022 court proceeding, has remained one of the suburbs' most outspoken opponents of cashless bail. Gregory Shaver for Shaw Media
Hoffman Estates Deputy Police Chief Greg Poulos retired this week after three decades with the department. Courtesy of Hoffman Estates Police Department
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