DuPage judge O'Shea removed from bench for misconduct

DuPage County Judge Patrick O'Shea has been removed from the bench after the Illinois Courts Commission on Friday ruled there is "clear and convincing evidence" of multiple instances of misconduct.

The unanimous ruling agreed with the Judicial Inquiry Board, which had leveled charges that O'Shea had made false and misleading statements to Wheaton detectives about a September 2017 case in which he was accused of shooting a bullet through the wall of his apartment. He was acquitted of that charge.

"The board feels this is a just result in what it has always considered a very important case," Kevin Fee, lead trial counsel to the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board and a partner with Sidley Austin LLP, said in a news release. "The misconduct outlined in the board's complaint is serious, and the commission's sanction is a recognition of its gravity."

The inquiry board also charged O'Shea with presenting misleading testimony about that case and trying to retaliate against a court clerk and an administrative assistant who had filed sexual harassment complaints against him.

The commission's ruling said O'Shea "was totally unapologetic" about the misconduct, lied under oath and abused his position of power.

The commission could have reprimanded O'Shea, censured him or suspended him.

O'Shea was elected in 2012 and reelected in 2018. He was a DuPage County Board member from 1990 to 2012. Since his acquittal of reckless conduct in the gun case, he has been assigned to administrative duties.

The commission's ruling said that Wheaton detectives' testimony to the judicial board was more credible than that of O'Shea.

According to Wheaton police, a neighbor of O'Shea found a hole in the living room wall and, later, a spent bullet on the floor. When police and apartment managers questioned O'Shea, he gave different reasons for the hole, saying at first he accidentally put a screwdriver through the wall while hanging a mirror, then that his son had caused the hole while using a nail gun, police said.

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