The Cook County Democratic Party is under fire after refusing to endorse Democratic Chicago Judge Michael Toomin, “a careful, conscientious and somewhat conservative jurist,” for retention.
While the party, run by Toni Preckwinkle, claimed that the decision became because Toomin has an “outdated approach to juvenile justice,” Toomin believes it is “retaliation” for his oversight exercised in appointing special prosecutor Dan Webb to investigate why all 16 felony charges against actor Jussie Smollett were dropped by the state’s attorney’s office in 2019.
“What this appears to be is retaliation for some perceived failing of my service as a presiding judge, and retaliation means in this case a blatant rejection of the overruling conflict of judicial independence,” Toomin said. “It just seems like it was preordained, that this was the way it was supposed to be, and they arrived with the result that they wanted to. And that’s wrong.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also expressed “deep concern” for the decision