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Lake County judicial candidate accused of stealing signs

Lake County prosecutor PatriciFix. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media

Lake County prosecutor Patricia Fix. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 2, 2012 2:11PM

Lake County judicial candidate Patricia Fix is under investigation on a complaint that she allegedly stole campaign signs.

Fix, a 17-year prosecutor for the Lake County State’s Attorney Office, is running as a Democrat for the county’s Second Subcircuit Judgeship against Republican Associate Judge Luis Berrones.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Wayne Hunter said the investigation was too fresh to give details.

“We expect to know more by Thursday (today),” said Hunter, who added, “Politics is a dirty business.”

Most of the 200 signs put up over the weekend by the Warren Township Republican Organization disappeared by Tuesday, according to township GOP Chairman Mike Amrozowicz, who said complaints were lodged with the Sheriff’s Office, Waukegan and Gurnee police.

The signs, paid for by the township GOP, say Fix, a Gurnee resident, is not-recommended for the judicial post, a reference to a vote by Lake County Bar Association members who overwhelmingly endorsed Berrones.

“We have received a verbal report that there is a citizen complaint claiming that Ms. Fix may have been involved in an incident involving campaign signs,” Jeff Pavletic, chief deputy state’s attorney, confirmed Wednesday.

Pavletic said his office is waiting for additional reports and the completion of an investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’re actively looking into this matter,” Pavletic said. “Ms. Fix was not in the office today, but I have made a request that I want to speak to her immediately regarding this matter.”

Pavletic said he gets complaints of campaign sign thievery every election cycle.

“But this is certainly different given that the complaint focuses on someone who works in the State’s Attorney’s Office. That’s something we haven’t had to deal with in the past.”

According to her Web site, Fix is a victim’s advocate and a founding member of the county’s Computer Crime Task Force. She has been a lead attorney in a number of high-profile prosecutions.

Amrozowicz said an eyewitness allegedly saw Fix removing signs bought by the GOP in Gurnee on Tuesday. He said he tracked the vehicle to the public parking lot adjacent to the Lake County Court Administrative Facility in downtown Waukegan.

“I was shocked to find our signs in Patricia Fix’s vehicle,” he said. “Integrity is part of the job description for a judge. “For a judge candidate to steal signs shows a total disregard for the law and the ability to follow the code of ethics required to be a judge.”

Amrozowicz said he was told the action will be investigated by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, since a conflict prevents the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office to conduct an investigation into the conduct of one of its employees.

Attempts to reach Fix were unsuccessful.

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