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Fix’s victory ‘something special’

Lake County States Attorney prosecuter PatriciFix candidate for judge. | Special Sun-Times Media

Lake County States Attorney prosecuter Patricia Fix and candidate for judge. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 9, 2012 7:28PM

The first female Democratic candidate to win a subcircuit judicial election remains on unpaid administrative leave.

Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney and Judge-elect Patricia Fix of Gurnee beat opponent Associate Judge Luis Berrones for the Second Subcircuit judgeship by 749 votes Tuesday night, according to unofficial voting results.

There is an open investigation pending against Fix alleging that she stole her opponent’s campaign signs last week.

“For right now, I’m just enjoying this victory,” Fix said Wednesday.

She had called the sign allegations the results of a “misguided supporter.”

Sign-stealing allegations are common in political races. She had said she found the timing of the sign theft allegations suspect. The theft allegations were brought forth less than one week before the election.

Fix said it was “impossible to speculate” what impact the theft allegations had on voting results.

The incident remains under investigation, First Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Pavletic said Wednesday. Pavletic said Fix remains on unpaid leave. Her cases have been re-assigned, he said.

“I’m trying to take the day and spend time with my kids, just enjoying this victory,” Fix said.

She said she is “thrilled” to be the first female Democrat elected in a subcircuit. She will be third Democratic circuit judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit once she is sworn in.

Fix, along with Judges-elect Daniel Shanes and Thomas Schippers, will be sworn in Dec. 3. No courtroom assignments have been determined at this time, according to a spokeswoman for the circuit.

“I am so proud of the Democratic Party and how it’s supported all the candidates during this tough election,” Fix said.

State Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, and Lake County Democratic Party chairman, said one of the reasons there are subcircuit judgeships is to provide “an opportunity to elect people of a different viewpoint.”

“I am so glad she won. Like I told her (election night), it was the candle on the cake. I’m excited about Democratic victories. I think hers was something special,” Link said.

He called the sign theft allegations “idiotic.” He said both sides of any given race could probably have multiple sign theft allegations.

“It was probably the most idiotic, lowest political stunts I’ve seen in my career ... I think this was a case that never should have been a story in the first place,” Link said.

He also called Fix’s unpaid administrative leave “a slap in the face.” He pointed out that Wauconda firefighter Donald Berthiaume was placed on paid administrative leave pending allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl.

“I think it was a slap in the face to someone that was a trusted, loyal employee to the State’s Attorney’s Office for 18 years. I think it was politics in its worst-case scenario,” Link said.

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