Patricia Fix: Candidate Profile
19th Circuit, 2nd Subcircuit (Seat A) (Democrat)
Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Office sought: 19th Circuit, 2nd Subcircuit (Seat A)
Family: 3 children. Alexandrea 17 Matthew 12 Emily 7
Occupation: Attorney; Prosecutor, Public servant 18 years
Education: University of Illinois BS, 1988 Loyola University School of Law JD 1991
Civic involvement: I am a current or past member of the Governor?s Task Force on State Integrated Justice; the Lake County Sexual Assault Coordinating Council, the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Chicago Metro Identity Theft Task Force, the Lake County Domestic Violence Council, the Attorney General Child Exploitation Task Force, the College of Lake County Computer Forensics Advisory Committee, the Attorney General Child Exploitation Task Force, the High Technology Criminal Investigation Association, the Illinois Integrated Justice Information System Planning Committee, the Computer and Electronic Crimes Task Force, the Lake County Bar Association, and the Women's Bar Association. I also served as a member of the College of Lake County Computer Forensics Advisory Board. My commitment to children and the community are demonstrated through extensive volunteer work through the years with the Gurnee Park District as a Basketball and Soccer Coach and Gurnee Youth Baseball as well as Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, Woodland District 50 volunteer, Illinois Special Olympic Advocate, and St. Paul Religious Education Teacher.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Key Issue 1
I don?t believe an individual running for judge should have a particular campaign issue or agenda on which they advocate. A judge should be independent, fair minded, and autonomous. To advocate a particular platform runs contrary to that assertion. I have an untarnished record of successful prosecutions and investigations during my 18 years as a public servant. I have shown as a prosecutor my commitment to justice. I have demonstrated impartiality and integrity; never allowing political considerations to interfere with the facts and my judgment as to the right thing to do. As a judge, the voters can expect I will continue to demonstrate those same qualities. My extensive trial and courtroom experience, commitment to community, and strong family values as the mother of 3 children, make me uniquely qualified to be elected to the 2nd Sub-Circuit judicial position.
Key Issue 2
Candidate did not respond.
Key Issue 3
Candidate did not respond.
Do you favor the appointment of judges or do you prefer the election process? Please explain your answer.
In Lake County Associate Judges are appointed while Circuit Court Judges are elected. Both have a place in the judicial process and an appropriate balance can be struck between the two. Appointment of judges in Lake County leaves their selection to a very small group of select individuals. This process is not transparent and does not allow for public input (as compared to some other States) and as a result can be subject to varying considerations. Elected judges allow for a greater participation of the public to make their voices heard. An informed electorate should be able to appropriately select and vote upon Circuit Judge Candidates based on their trial experience and demonstrated excellence in the legal profession. In my instance, after 18 years as a public prosecutor; my record, trial success and diversity of experience are open to the public to make an informed choice.
What special qualifications or experiences make you the best person to serve as a judge?
In my role as a prosecutor for the last 18 years I have amassed extensive trial and courtroom experience, successfully prosecuting some of the most high profile crimes and investigations in Lake County. Most recently I was jointly presented with the Illinois Homicide Investigators Association Award in acknowledgement of efforts with law enforcement in prosecuting the case of People v. Marni Yang. In acknowledgement of my highly successful efforts in the legal profession I have received numerous awards including the Fred L. Foremen Criminal Justice Award, highlighting my work with victims of sexual assault. I have been awarded the U.S. Postal Inspectors Award of Excellence for complex Identity Theft and White Collar Crime prosecutions in Lake County. The Attorney General has recognized my work and awarded me on behalf of the Illinois Attorney General Child Exploitation Task Force and given me the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Award for my role in protecting children from Internet predators. I have also received the Loyola University Leadership and Service Award. My experience is diversified and expansive. I was the first Chief of the Cyber Crime Division in Lake County State?s Attorney?s Office. During that period I worked to open the first Computer Crime Lab in Lake County and founded the Computer Crime Task Force. During my career I successfully directed sensitive and complex investigations and prosecutions regarding many high profile cases involving public officials, police misconduct, murderers and sex offenders. During that time I have demonstrated impartiality and integrity; never allowing political considerations to interfere with my judgment as to the right thing to do. I have been an advocate for victims during my career. I was a founding member of the first Domestic Violence Courtroom in Lake County, a supervisor in the Domestic Violence Unit of the State's Attorney?s office and a member of the Lake County Domestic Violence Council. I am also a current member of the Lake County Sexual Assault Council and the Zacharias Sexual Assault SANE/SART Task Force and have lectured extensively in all these areas. I served as a member of the College of Lake County Computer Forensics Advisory Board and am a guest lecturer on a variety of computer forensic related topics. I lecture in the areas of White Collar Crime, Sexual Assault, Identity Theft, Child Abuse and Neglect, Internet Safety and Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions. I am also a current or past member of the Governor?s Task Force on State Integrated Justice; the Lake County Sexual Assault Coordinating Council, the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Chicago Metro Identity Theft Task Force, the Lake County Domestic Violence Council, the Attorney General Child Exploitation Task Force, the College of Lake County Computer Forensics Advisory Committee, the Attorney General Child Exploitation Task Force, the High Technology Criminal Investigation Association, the Illinois Integrated Justice Information System (IIJIS) Planning Committee, the Computer and Electronic Crimes Task Force, the Lake County Bar Association, and the Women's Bar Association. I have balanced all this while being a dedicated mother of 3 active and involved children. We have lived in Gurnee, Illinois for the last 20 years. My commitment to my children and the community are demonstrated through extensive volunteer work as a Basketball and Soccer Coach with the Gurnee Park District, a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, Den mother, Woodland District 50 volunteer, Illinois Special Olympic Advocate, Religious Education Teacher and all around active mom. My duel role as a prosecutor and mother gives me unique qualifications. I am extraordinarily experienced in the trial courts in Lake County having prosecuted criminals there for almost 2 decades; I have been tough on criminals and an advocate for victims; while possessing a depth of compassion, patience, and understanding acquired as a parent of 3 children.
What are your thoughts on mandatory sentencing? Do you believe judges should have greater leeway when it comes to sentencing defendants? Why or why not?
Every case is as different and unique as the person being sentenced. A judge should look at the individual facts of each case in fashioning an appropriate sentence. General sentencing guidelines are a helpful guide as to appropriate parameters for a specific criminal sentence. However, mandatory minimum sentences remove all judicial discretion and require a judge impose a particular sentence regardless of the potential mitigation or aggravation presented. A judge should be allowed to exercise their discretion in fashioning an appropriate sentence after hearing all the evidence.
What are your thoughts on the use of drug courts, domestic violence courts, veterans courts, mental health courts and prostitution courts? Have they been effective?
As the founding prosecutor of Lake County?s first Domestic Violence Court that began in 1995, I have seen first-hand how effective it can be to tailor the delivery of services to offenders and victims of domestic violence in a specialty court. These cases are unique because while sentencing the offender the impact is felt within the entire family dynamic. A balance is often required; how to protect individuals in the family without destroying the family unit. When prosecutors and judges are familiar with the cycle of violence and issues specific to domestic violence; they are more likely to achieve victim centered, safe outcomes. Having advocates from Lake County Safe Place present to counsel and assist victims in that specialized environment is an additional plus. Drug and alcohol addiction and mental illness are also problems that routinely surface in the courts. Unaddressed, these problems are proven to cause criminal recidivism and societal costs. In specialized instances, with victim consent, the mental health court and drug courts in Lake County successfully treat non-violent offenders whose criminal behavior is directly linked to mental illness or substance abuse. In these courtrooms, the specialized training the judges, prosecutors, attorneys and counselors receive to deal with offenders with these issues has proven to have successful outcomes. Defendants who adhere to the stringent guidelines in these specialty courts can turn their lives around, manage addictions or mental illness, and become productive members of society. Additionally, Lake County has been successful in seeking grants to fund many of these programs; lessening the economic impact on the justice system.
Do you support eliminating the ban on cameras and recording devices in Illinois courtrooms? Why or why not?
As long as the press and public continue to be allowed unfettered access to observe and listen in person to the proceedings in courtrooms, and report on what is stated in open court, and sketch what is observed in court; I feel that camera?s and recording devices in the courtrooms are unnecessary. It is intimidating enough for an individual to testify in an open courtroom in front of a jurors they do not know and a packed gallery of strangers about intimate details of a traumatic event. . I have observed firsthand while prosecuting highly publicized trials the additional pressures intense media scrutiny can cause for family members of victims of a crime, and witness to the crime. Lights and cameras within the courtroom would only heighten that anxiety. Based on these factors, I do not see how the presence of news cameras or recording devices within the courtroom would improve the delivery of justice.