Skip to content

Judge denies Chicago Police union's effort to recuse herself from case

The union wanted Cook County Judge Cecilia Horan to recuse herself because of what its attorney, Joel D'Alba, called the "appearance of impropriety."

Associated Press
Associated Press
| 2 min read
Judge denies Chicago Police union's effort to recuse herself from case

By DON BABWIN | Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge who ordered the president of Chicago's police officers' union to stop publicly encouraging his members to disobey the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Wednesday refused the union's request to recuse herself from the case.



The union wanted Cook County Judge Cecilia Horan to recuse herself because of what its attorney, Joel D'Alba, called the "appearance of impropriety."[1] The law firm where Horan was a partner before she became a judge had been involved with a task force that helped create a consent decree — widely criticized by the union — aimed at overhauling the police force a few years ago.

During the hearing, Horan said, "I did not know about the task force report at all when I was a partner at the firm."

The ruling comes amid a battle between the city and John Catanzara, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Chicago, over a requirement that all city employees, including police officers, enter their vaccine status in the city's data portal.

On Tuesday, Police Superintendent David Brown said 21 department employees had been placed on "no-pay status" for refusing to provide the information.[2] He said the department needed to still talk to hundreds of officers who had thus far not provided the information.

With Horan's order set to expire Monday an attorney for the city told the judge that he would ask her to extend it and expand it beyond union officials during a hearing on Monday.

"There have been mass email communications coming from officials other than Mr. Catanzara that we believe, if they do not violate the letter of your honor's order, violate the spirit," said attorney Michael Warner.

On Wednesday, the union's first vice president, Michael Mette, posted a warning on the union website to “all you young coppers out there,” asking them “What issue is next?” if they give in and provide their vaccination status to the city.


Notes & References


  1. Babwin, Don. “Chicago Mayor Takes Police Union Head to Court over Vaccines.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, October 15, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-police-chicago-lori-lightfoot-2f7c08e8a5942f24b273bca872766a5b. ↩︎

  2. Tareen, Sophia. “21 Chicago Cops Put on 'No Pay Status' in Vaccine Standoff.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, October 19, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-police-chicago-de013325f4c2f06725c68da5490ea7cd. ↩︎

PoliceChicago NewsChicago PoliticsNewsPolitics

Associated Press Twitter

News and content from The Associated Press, which has been covering the world's most important stories since 1846.


Related Posts

Fire causes $1.25m in damage at historic Illinois mansion

A fire at the historic Haley Mansion in Joliet caused $1.25 million in damage, authorities said.

Fire causes $1.25m in damage at historic Illinois mansion

Chicago announces best monikers in snowplow naming contest

Chicago city staff chose 50 finalists and the mayor's office received more than 80,000 votes. Staff ultimately chose seven winners.

Chicago announces best monikers in snowplow naming contest

Daughter charged after mom's body found in Chicago freezer

A Chicago woman has been accused of keeping her mother's dead body in a freezer for nearly two years while living in a nearby apartment.

Daughter charged after mom's body found in Chicago freezer