Former State Bar employees must answer questions about Tom Girardi, judge rules.
At a hearing today that lasted nearly four hours, a state bar committee will discuss whether to bar Tom Girardi, who was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court last year in a politically charged matter.
State bar records show Girardi’s past work for two law firms includes defending clients accused of criminal activity, collecting debts, handling bankruptcy and, in one case, defending the government in a criminal case.
In a statement, Girardi said he “is not familiar with the facts underlying the allegations against Judge Tom Girardi or the law firm he represented. I am also unaware of any allegations against Judge Girardi regarding his own personal conduct.”
One of the allegations against Girardi is that he failed to disclose that he had a long-term relationship in an inappropriate position.
The bar committee also has asked members of the media “to refrain from publishing any information that may be contained in the materials received at the hearing,” according to a news release. “The committee also will not comment on the information contained in those materials, but its members will be available to discuss details of the information with the media.”
Attorney Scott Rosenblum, who represents Girardi in a case pending in Cook County, said the state bar committee has contacted the Illinois Supreme Court to ask them to recuse because Girardi “has a conflict of interest. A judge may appoint someone to sit on the board of a company, but if they have a conflict or appearance of conflict of interest, they can’t. We are working with our attorney for an appropriate resolution.”
Girardi is a partner at Girardi & Partners, where he also worked with Andrew M. Stoltmann in the past. The business has had a long history of representing clients who worked for a law firm, Stoltmann said. As part of his role as a judge, he said, he’s not supposed to have any involvement in business decisions.
Girardi was criticized after the decision in the case of Matthew Janklow – who was arrested and pleaded guilty to sex crimes — was announced. Girardi said “I think it’s a mistake” and “I’m concerned about people who come into contact with me, who don’t work with me at all.”
The former attorney for the now-defunct Chicago