Adrian trial before Illinois Courts Commission set for Nov. 7-9 in Chicago

Judge Robert Adrian presides over the arraignment hearing of Timothy Bliefnick Friday in Quincy.

Eighth Judicial Circuit Judge Robert Adrian | Pool photo by Mike Sorenson/Herald-Whig

QUINCY — A trial for Eighth Judicial Circuit Judge Robert Adrian before the Illinois Courts Commission was set for November during a brief Zoom meeting Thursday morning.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Lewis Nixon set the trial for Nov. 7-9 in Chicago at a location to be determined. Nixon coordinated Thursday’s public video conference.

Adrian found Drew Clinton, 18, guilty of felony criminal sexual assault following a three-day bench trial in October 2021. Then on Jan. 3, 2022, Adrian vacated Clinton’s conviction, resulting in Clinton being released from the Adams County Jail.

The Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board filed a complaint on June 17, 2022, against Adrian. The JIB determines if a complaint made against an active Illinois court judge should be closed or investigated, and whether a reasonable basis exists to file a public complaint against a judge with the Courts Commission.

Adrian testified under oath before the Judicial Inquiry Board in April 2022. The JIB’s complaint said Adrian explained his decision to reverse his finding of guilt in the sexual assault case was based upon the evidence and his conclusion that the prosecution had not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the victim could not give consent.

Adrian also allegedly testified that his reversal was not an effort to “thwart the law.” The JIB alleged in its complaint that this testimony was false, and Adrian knew it was false when he made the statements.

Illinois Supreme Court Judge P. Scott Neville is the chair of the Illinois Courts Commission, which was created by the 1970 Illinois Constitution to adjudicate complaints brought by the Judicial Inquiry Board against Illinois judges alleging violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct. After a public hearing, the commission can reprimand, censure, suspend without pay or remove the judge from office.

Other members of the commission are four judges — Nixon, Sheldon R. Sobol, Margaret Stanton McBride and Thomas M. Harris — along with Chicago attorney Aurora Austriaco and Paula Wolff with the Illinois Justice Project.

Daniel Konicek, a Geneva attorney, is Adrian’s counsel. Cook County prosecutor Mike Deno is executive director and general counsel for the Judicial Inquiry Board.

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