CHICAGO — A Cook County judge who was convicted in federal court in Chicago of fraudulently obtaining mortgages for investment properties is fighting to keep her seat on the bench.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports lawyers for Jessica O’Brien have filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court contending the court doesn’t have the authority to force her out. The lawyers argue the state constitution grants only the Judicial Inquiry Board and the Illinois Courts Commission the power to remove a sitting judge.

O’Brien has been assigned to administrative duties ever since her indictment on mail and bank fraud charges. Prosecutors say the 50-year-old O’Brien lied to lenders and concealed facts to obtain more than $1.4 million in mortgages. They were obtained for properties she purchased and sold. The crimes occurred before she became a judge.

She is scheduled for sentencing July 6.


Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://chicago.suntimes.com/