Judicial candidate placed on leave by Lake County SA’s office
By Beth Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org November 1, 2012 7:26PM
Lake County States Attorney prosecuter Patricia Fix and candidate for judge. | Special to Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 1, 2013 1:48AM
The Lake County judicial candidate accused of stealing campaign signs was placed on unpaid administrative leave Thursday, according to Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Jeff Pavletic.
He said he could not get into details on the pending investigation. A citizen made a complaint to Lake County Sheriff’s Office that Assistant State’s Attorney Patricia Fix may be involved with the ongoing investigation, Pavletic said.
“We’re working closely with Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Police are still doing follow-up interviews and further investigation,” Pavletic said.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office placed Fix on unpaid administrative leave Thursday for an “undefined period of time,” Pavletic said. The office is waiting for the completed investigation.
When the ongoing investigation is finished, it will be referred to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for review, he added, saying he expected the investigation to be completed within a “short, reasonable period of time.”
Fix said these were “baseless allegations” in a statement she released Thursday.
Fix is chief of the felony trial division. She has been an assistant state’s attorney for about 18 years and is running as the Democratic candidate for the Second Subcircuit full judgeship against Republican Associate Judge Luis Berrones.
“I look forward to this being resolved once all the facts come to light,” Fix said. “I await the results of any investigating agency and will cooperate with law enforcement. Unfortunately — and much to the Warren GOP’s delight — this may not occur until after the election.”
Most of the 200 signs put up over the weekend by the Warren Township Republican Organization disappeared by Tuesday, township GOP Chairman Mike Amrozowicz said. Eyewitnesses allegedly saw Fix remove the signs on Tuesday.
He estimated Thursday that between 160 to 180 signs were taken. Each sign was worth $4.40, meaning a total of $704 to $792 worth of property is missing.
“We’re trying to get some made up again to replace them. We look it at is a public service. We took information from the Lake County Bar Association and transposed that on the signs,” Amrozowicz said.
He also said that “in fairness” workers from the village of Gurnee had removed some 15 signs that volunteers put in public rights-of-way.
Fix has also had more than 20 of her four-foot high “Patricia Fix for Judge” signs stolen and hundreds of smaller signs on supporters’ property have been “consistently and repeatedly” stolen for almost two months, Fix said. There is at least one police report on file with Gurnee police. The report was not immediately available upon request Thursday.
Private attorney David Weinstein said someone “entered onto my property” and took a Fix sign out of his Gurnee yard in the middle of the night. He also said he has replaced “a number” of her signs because several of her signs have been stolen.
“I don’t know who’s responsible. When I ran for judge in 2008, I had probably over 300 signs stolen,” Weinstein said.