DuPage County Circuit Judge Patrick O’Shea was ordered removed from the bench on Friday by the Illinois Courts Commission, which issued its harshest penalty after finding he had lied under oath, engaged in a “system of harm” against two female court employees and later retaliated against them when they complained of sexual harassment.
His “misconduct was not an isolated incident,” the commission opinion states, and said it “reflects poorly on the integrity of and respect for the judicial system.” The commission concluded, “Based on the facts of this case, and the standard of conduct required of all judges, the only appropriate remedy is to remove and dismiss respondent from the office of Circuit Court Judge,” effective next week.
O’Shea, elected judge in 2012, was found to have committed misconduct not only in his treatment of two female employees, but also when detectives showed up at his apartment to question O’Shea about an incident in which his neighbors discovered a hole through a wall their apartment, and later found a bullet in September 2017.
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According to both officers’ testimony at the hearing: O’Shea first told them that the hole had occurred when he put a screwdriver through the wall. Then he said it occurred with a nail gun, Finally he said his son had accidentally shot the gun.
The detectives contended it took considerable time before O’Shea told them it was he who pulled the trigger, but O’Shea testified before the Courts Commission that as soon as officers saw the hole he told them of his accidental shot.
“The Commission finds that the detectives’ testimony was credible and the respondent’s testimony was untruthful and not credible,” the commission opinion states. O’Brien “made false and misleading statements to detectives and to the Board. The untruthful testimony before the Board was particularly egregious because the respondent was under oath.”
Similarly, the board discredited O’Shea’s denial that he engaged in wrongdoing against two court employees who separately complained he had harassed them.
O’Shea, the commission found, “has not acknowledged any real wrongdoing. The respondent disputed the actual allegations and still maintains that the allegations were untrue.”
The commission, which includes a mixture of judges from different levels of court as well as public members, added, “The respondent never suggested that he may have been untmthful or even the slightest bit misleading or deceptive at any time. The respondent lied under oath to the Board and again provided unbelievable testimony at the hearing before the Commission. With respect to the allegations of sexual harassment, the respondent indicated that he would change his behavior in the future. However, this was not because he was remorseful for his conduct, rather it was because he believed his comments and actions were misconstrued.”