Judge who allowed law clerk to rule on traffic cases is forced to retire after Alzheimer’s diagnosis



A suburban Chicago judge who allowed a law clerk/staff attorney to wear her robe and rule on traffic cases has been forced to retire after acknowledging that she has Alzheimer’s disease,

Judge Valarie Turner was forced to retire by the Illinois Courts Commission, report the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune.

Turner, 60, was receiving temporary disability payments and asserted that she was effectively retired. But the commission said Turner “is permanently unable to perform her judicial duties” and she is required to immediately retire.

The law clerk/staff attorney, Rhonda Crawford, won a judicial election but was barred from taking the bench because of the incident last year. She has been charged with official misconduct and false impersonation.

Turner had attended law school at the University of Chicago and had formerly worked at Kirkland & Ellis and the U.S. Attorney’s office. In testimony before the commission, she said she was getting forgetful about certain things, and she believed Crawford was a new judge when she allowed her to take the bench.

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