* Yeah, this’ll go well…
As the Jussie Smollett case boiled over last year, Judge Michael Toomin appointed a special prosecutor to look at how Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her office handled the controversial case, saying it had been botched.
On Monday, the Cook County Democratic Party, which is chaired by Foxx ally Toni Preckwinkle, took the relatively rare step of voting not to endorse Toomin for retention on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The move set off a political firestorm. Toomin called it “retaliation.” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it sure looked like payback. But the Democratic leaders who dumped Toomin pointed to what they said was his outdated approach to juvenile justice, finding him “imperial” and “obstructionist” as they declared it was time for him to retire. […]
In 2018, Toomin faced backlash from Preckwinkle, who also is the Cook County Board president, and others after declining to follow a county ordinance that barred youths 12 and younger from being sent to juvenile detention. Two 12-year-old boys with gun charges on their records had been placed on electronic monitoring, but were ordered to detention after they repeatedly damaged their monitors and ran away.
Toomin ruled that the boys would remain confined there, saying they were a threat to society and to themselves, and the county law provided no “viable alternative” to their incarceration. State law, which allows children as young as 10 to be locked up, trumps the county ordinance, he ruled. A state appellate court agreed with him last year, drawing disappointment from Preckwinkle because the confinement of young children can lead to mental health problems, she said at the time.
* Mark Brown…
The Cook County Democratic Party voted Monday to oppose retention of the judge who appointed a special prosecutor to investigate State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case, bringing immediate accusations of retaliation.
Party officials denied any connection to Foxx’s election and said they are seeking to oust Judge Michael Toomin, presiding judge of the county’s Juvenile Justice division, over what they said was his “imperial” temperament and “outdated approach” to juvenile justice.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot was among those who questioned the party’s move, saying she was “deeply concerned” about it.
“The optics of this are terrible,” Lightfoot said. “It looks like retaliation.”
It sure does.
Yes, it does. And with all this free publicity, the party just gave him a big campaign boost.