Judge Joseph Claps, a well-connected jurist who obtained his Associate Judge seat through connections with IL political machine, was charged with a misdemeanor after appearing to drop a handgun inside a Chicago courthouse last week, authorities said. (Cook County Sheriff’s Office).
According to October 2015 (!!!) the public comments“I knew Joe back in the 1980s when he was with the AGs office. He was a shitty attorney, so I was shocked when he was named a judge, but he has machine connections.” and ” Another corrupt, brainless judge in county court!”
Another person said: “Then they wonder why there is so much gun violence in the city, when you judges sticking up for the criminals.”
Judge Claps is categorized as “Dirty a$$ judge” and “One of the worst judges at 26th street. Doesn’t know the law. And so arrogant that even if he knew the law he wouldn’t follow it. Be careful with him. His arrogance knows no limits. He’ll screw any police over just to prove he’s in charge of his courtroom”.
Other commented about Claps as “a judge setting up a Inquisition in his courtroom? Isn’t that against the US Constitution, Supreme court rules, Illinois state judicial rules, and of course guidelines from the chief judges office? Oh Well, being a very liberal judge, you can do anything and get away with it.“
More comments: “He is an example of how political clout has contaminated the Cook County Judiciary. I wish he would retire and get off the bench. He just loves to put that robe on and tell everyone how great he and dignified he is. Horrible!!!!”
In 2017 Judge Claps became a party in legal case No. 121025 – People ex rel. Anita Alvarez, etc., petitioner, v. Hon. Joseph Michael Claps, Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, et al., respondents. Motion by petitioner for leave to file a petition for an original writ of mandamus and/or writ of prohibition. Motion denied . The stay of proceedings in the Circuit Court of Cook County in People v. Wilson , case No. 16 CR 1275, is lifted. Order entered by the Court.
A Cook County judge dropped a handgun while inside the lobby of a courthouse on Chicago’s South Side last week and was charged with a misdemeanor after the incident was seen on video, authorities said.
Judge Joseph Claps, 70, was charged with a Class B misdemeanor for allegedly carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited area, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Security cameras captured the gun falling out of Claps’ jacket in the courthouse lobby on July 3, the paper reported. It also reportedly showed him picking the silver and black pistol up and putting it in his pants pocket.
“The video speaks for itself,” Cara Smith of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office told WMAQ-TV.
Deputies who witnessed the incident notified their superiors, WGN-TV reported.
Smith told the Tribune that Claps, who has a firearm owner’s ID card and a concealed carry license, was not searched or detained at the time because deputies may have thought that, as a judge, he could lawfully carry a weapon in the courthouse.
The veteran judge was not taken into custody at any point, Smith said.
“(Claps) was nothing but cooperative throughout the whole process,” Smith told WMAQ-TV.
Claps, who has been a judge for over two decades and previously worked as a top assistant to the Illinois Attorney General, was placed on non-judicial duties pending an executive committee meeting, the Tribune reported.
Claps was released on his own recognizance and was scheduled to appear in court July 19.