Illinois Justice Project director chosen as next Cook County public defender

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Sharone Mitchell, director of the Illinois Justice Project, has been chosen to be the next Cook County public defender.
Sharone Mitchell, director of the Illinois Justice Project, has been chosen to be the next Cook County public defender. | Provided

Sharone Mitchell has worked at the Illinois Justice Project since 2016 and was previously a trial attorney with the public defender’s office.

The director of the Illinois Justice Project is Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s pick to replace outgoing Public Defender Amy Campanelli.

Sharone Mitchell has worked at the Illinois Justice Project since 2016 and was previously a trial attorney with the public defender’s office, according to the justice project’s website.

The County Board will have a special meeting Friday morning to appoint Mitchell.

Mitchell was one of two finalists for the position; the other contender, Emmanuel Andre, is an attorney at the North Side Transformative Law Center, whose legal services include community defense, victim rights and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services cases, reentry planning and expungement, according to the center’s website.

A spokesman for Preckwinkle was not immediately available for comment. Mitchell also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Crain’s first reported Mitchell being chosen for the public defender position.

The Chicago Sun-Times learned Friday that incumbent Campanelli was not among the list of finalists. On Tuesday, Preckwinkle shed no light on why Campanelli wasn’t chosen to stay on in the position she’s held since 2015.

“I’m grateful to Public Defender Campanelli for her good work over the last six years, her work on police station representation, on setting up an immigration unit I would particularly single out,” Preckwinkle said.

Campanelli’s current term expires at the end of the month. The public defender said in December she would seek a second, six-year term to “continue to advocate that the criminal justice system be just for all.”

Preckwinkle opened up the option of picking a new public defender that month, forming a selection committee to review resumes, interview candidates and recommend three candidates to Preckwinkle for a final decision.

Though other candidates were invited to apply, Preckwinkle could have chosen to keep Campanelli in the role.

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via Chicago Sun-Times – All https://ift.tt/2xAxGgE

March 10, 2021 at 10:30AM

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