> Judge who dropped gun in courthouse to remain on administrative duties Cook County Judge Joseph Claps, center, was hit with a

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#1 2018-07-12 02:58:47

Judge who dropped gun in courthouse to remain on administrative duties Cook County Judge Joseph Claps, center, was hit with a

I see a bench trial and a not guilty verdict in this man's future. 

Judge who dropped gun in courthouse to remain on administrative duties

Cook County Judge Joseph Claps, center, was hit with a misdemeanor gun charge after sheriff’s deputies saw him drop a pistol last week in the lobby of the county’s main criminal courthouse, authorities said. (Cook County sheriff's office)

A veteran Cook County judge charged with a misdemeanor weapons offense after he was seen dropping a handgun in a courthouse lobby will continue to be reassigned to administrative duties, court officials said Wednesday.

Video released by the sheriff’s office showed Judge Joseph Claps bend down and pick up the gun after it fell from a jacket he was carrying last week in the Leighton Criminal Court Building, where he has worked for years.

Chief Judge Timothy Evans's office placed Claps on "nonjudicial duties" on July 5, the first workday after the incident. At a meeting Wednesday, the circuit court’s executive committee decided to keep him on administrative assignment, Evans’ office said.

“Administrative duties can include performing legal research, conducting marriage ceremonies and reviewing petitions for reduced court-filing fees for indigent parties,” a statement from Evans’ office said.

Claps was walking in the lobby of the courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue on July 3 when two deputies noticed a handgun fall out of a jacket draped over the judge’s arm, according to a sheriff’s incident report.

Security cameras captured the gun tumbling out of Claps’ jacket as well as the judge picking up the silver pistol and putting it in his pants pocket.

The gun is believed to have been loaded, said Cara Smith, chief policy officer for Sheriff Tom Dart.

Sheriff’s officials charged Claps with the Class B misdemeanor offense of carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited area. Claps has a firearm owner’s identification card and a concealed carry license, Smith said, but weapons are prohibited in the courthouse even for concealed carry holders.

Claps is expected to appear in court next week at the branch courthouse in suburban Maywood.

Claps, 70, has been a judge for more than two decades, the last 15 years with the Criminal Division. He previously worked as the top assistant to the state attorney general and as a Cook County prosecutor.

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Tom Leykis
#2 2018-07-12 03:17:41

Re: Judge who dropped gun in courthouse to remain on administrative duties Cook County Judge Joseph Claps, center, was hit with a

Simple. Change the law to REQUIRE judges to be armed.

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#3 2018-07-12 03:26:29

Re: Judge who dropped gun in courthouse to remain on administrative duties Cook County Judge Joseph Claps, center, was hit with a

Tom Leykis wrote:

Simple. Change the law to REQUIRE judges to be armed.

The weird thing is that he had a concealed carry license but the law specifically says no carry in the court, and that even goes for judges, in theory.  I know at least one county courthouse, though, where the chief judge specifically allows it though it is technically against the law and the sheriff and deputies have agreed that judges may carry.  Just my county where I know this is the case (this is not public information I think) but I suspect it is probably quite a few more.  The collar counties and Cook, though, probably the chief judges forbid it.  That's just the kind of counties those are.

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Tom Leykis
#4 2018-07-12 03:44:41

Re: Judge who dropped gun in courthouse to remain on administrative duties Cook County Judge Joseph Claps, center, was hit with a

. wrote:

The weird thing is that he had a concealed carry license but the law specifically says no carry in the court, and that even goes for judges, in theory.  I know at least one county courthouse, though, where the chief judge specifically allows it though it is technically against the law and the sheriff and deputies have agreed that judges may carry.  Just my county where I know this is the case (this is not public information I think) but I suspect it is probably quite a few more.  The collar counties and Cook, though, probably the chief judges forbid it.  That's just the kind of counties those are.

You keep your coins in your pocket.  Your gun, you keep that in a positive control holster, just like the President of Woody's does.

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