Board of Directors
Brendan Shiller, President, is the managing partner at Shiller Preyar, an 8 attorney firm that does police misconduct, criminal defense and immigration. He is also a founder and the Board President of the Westside Justice Center. Read more.
Antonio Romanucci, Vice President, is a principal and partner at Romanucci and Blandin where he focuses his practice on catastrophic personal injuries arising from medical malpractice, construction and other workplace accidents, nursing home negligence, aviation disasters and police misconduct cases, including civil rights actions. He is also the incoming President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Read more.
Jon Loevy, Treasurer, is an extremely accomplished trial lawyer, having won more than $100 million in jury verdicts for his clients, all in cases involving challenging fact patterns and difficult to prove allegations. As lead counsel, Jon Loevy has won 13 separate million or multi-million dollar jury verdicts. Read more.
Jennifer Bonjean, Secretary, is the owner and founder of Bonjean Law Group, PLLC base in Brooklyn. She specializes in wrongful convictions and is representing Armando Serrano, who is suing Coghlan for wrongful conviction. Read more.
Michael Del Galdo is the founding attorney of Del Galdo Law Group, LLC, a law firm based in Berwyn consisting of 21 attorneys, serving primarily public and private sector clients in the governmental and public sector practice area. Read more.
Raymond Figueroa served as Alderman for the 31st ward from 1987 through 1991 as an ally of Mayor Harold Washington in the Council Wars and served as a Cook County Circuit court judge for 12 years.
Steven Hart is a principal and partner litigates a wide variety of civil matters including class action, mass torts, personal injury, products liability, toxic tort, environmental, automotive, and transportation cases. He also sits on the 47th Ward Democratic Organization Judicial Review Committee. Read more.
Tom Johnson is a partner at Johnson, Jones, Snelling, and Gilbert. He has also served as a special commissioner for the U.S. District Court in Chicago and a Hearing Officer for the Chicago Police Board, the Illinois State Police Merit Board and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic He has spent considerable time seeking to reform Chicago's voter registration and electoral system and, in doing so, has represented numerous local, state and federal officeholders, including President Barack Obama and the late Mayor Harold Washington. Read more.
Lamell McMorris is the founder and CEO of the Washington, DC-based companies, Perennial Strategy Group and Perennial Sports and Entertainment. In his work, Mr. McMorris offers strategic insight and external affairs services to some of the nation's leading decision-makers in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. In Chicago, McMorris’ Greenlining is seeking to redevelop his childhood West Woodlawn community. Read more.
Dartesia Pitts is an experienced Illinois trial and transactional attorney. She has practiced law for over 10 years primarily, but not exclusively, in the areas of Real Estate and Business law. She is a motivational leader and proven creative problem solver. She is the most recent past President of the Cook County Bar Association. Read more.
Sam Toia is currently the president of the Illinois Restaurant Association largest foodservice trade organization in the state, which runs the Taste of Chicago and Chicago Gourmet, Toia acts as the chief representative of the largest private sector employer in the state, posting 516,000 jobs last year. Prior to being at the Illinois Restaurant Association he was an owner of the family owned business and Chicago institution Leona's Restaurant. Read more.
Paul Rosenfeld is the Democratic Party committeeman for the 47th Ward. He also serves as the finance chair for Alderman Ameya Pawar and is a managing partner of the Government Navigation Group's Chicago Office. He boasts over 20 years of experience in Cook County politics and policymaking. Read more.
Clem Balanoff, Jr. is a well known labor activist and politician. His post-electoral career has included stints as Chief of Staff to the Cook County Clerk, a strategist for the mayoral campaign of Chuy García and Illinois state director for the presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Read more.
Letter from the Board President
We formed the judicial accountability PAC because for too long in Cook County judges have been elected by an uniformed electorate. For decades judges seats were controlled by a handful of well-heeled Democratic Ward Committeemen. In recent election cycles, money and a bias towards certain ethnic names has had an oversized influence on judicial elections. Bar associations do a good job looking at qualifications. But those bar associations do not dive deep into biases. Nor do they thoroughly research the judges, their decisions and their histories. And those bar associations do not do any real effective voter education.
With the influence of Democratic Ward bosses waning, there is an opportunity for an organization that is capable of doing intensive research on judges, while working with grassroots organizations to inform the electorate of those judges, to reshape the Cook County judiciary into a truly competent, diverse and unbiased judiciary. The time has come.
The Judicial Accountability PAC won its first big election when it supported Judge David Navarro because of his stance on bond reform. Now JAPAC is taking on what some consider the impossible. In the last 40 years, there has only been one cycle where all the judges on the retention ballot did not win. Such rubber stamping is bad for accountability, bad for the judiciary, and bad for our communities. This year, JAPAC set about the process of analyzing the sentencing histories of every judge on the retention ballot currently presiding in a criminal court room. Based on that analysis, it was determined that three judges on the retention ballot have a pattern of overly harsh sentencing on drug possession cases, and have noticeable disparities in their sentencing. The PAC then did even more research and found that one of those three judges has a troubling history as a prosecutor. It was determined that the PAC would make that Judge, Matthew Coghlan, its sole target for the November 6, 2018 retention election. As it turned out, the PAC was not the only entity which took note of Coghlan. In fact, a whole coalition of grassroots organizations have formed against him. The DumpCoghlan Campaign website is HERE.
If you are an attorney that wants a competent and unbiased judiciary, please join the PAC HERE. If you are a non-attorney who wants to be part of this particular campaign to Dump Coghlan, please provide your information here. And thank you for being part of the movement to change Cook County's judicial system.