A Cook County judge is free following her arrest on charges of misdemeanor battery for allegedly shoving a sheriff's deputy and tossing a set of keys at a security checkpoint in the Daley Center downtown.
Judge Cynthia Brim was taken into custody by deputies Friday afternoon, processed into the lock-up at the Daley Center and released, according to sheriff's office spokesman Frank Bilecki.
At about 4:45 p.m., Brim -- who presides in the Cook County courthouse in Markham -- approached deputies and asked if they had found any keys, Bilecki said. "They don't know who she is, and she never identified herself," he said.
Deputies showed her three sets of keys that had been left at the checkpoint, Brim claimed one set and walked away, Bilecki said. But about 10 minutes later, she returned, tossed the keys toward one deputy and shoved another in the chest with both hands, he said.
At that point, Bilecki said, the deputies handcuffed Brim, placed her under arrest and took her to the detention area in the Daley Center, which houses numerous Cook County Circuit Court courtrooms. She was charged with misdemeanor battery and released on bond Friday evening, he said.
Brim's arrest followed a Thursday incident in which she went on an extended tirade while on the bench in a courtroom in Markham. Brim, a "floating judge" who fills in for other judges, was hearing traffic cases from South Holland when she began behaving erratically, according to sources.
Markham Acting Presiding Judge Brian Flaherty eventually asked Brim to leave the courtroom, and she complied. Because it happened in traffic court, there was no recording or transcript made of what Brim said.
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans' office later released a statement that Evans was aware of the Thursday incident and was looking into it.
In May 2010, Brim was one of four judges Evans reassigned and paired with mentor judges because their judicial conduct had been questioned. "I do not want any unacceptable behavior of a few judges to undermine the credibility and integrity of our entire system of justice," Evans said in a news release at the time.
Evans' move came after a FOX Chicago News/Better Government Association investigation that showed some Cook County judges were leaving court earlier than they were supposed to.
Evans could not be reached Saturday to comment on Brim's arrest.
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