Illinois Court system is a corrupt enterprise where politically connected cronies are repeatedly assigned to the bench to serve their parties of interests and deprive citizens from civil rights, while demand more money from taxpayers.
One of such well-connected political insiders is Judge Robert E. Senechalle, Jr., brother in law to well-connected lawyer, Mayer Brown LLP partner Julian D’Esposito, a long-time crony with Gov. James Thompson, who was assigned as an Associate Judge by famous Madigan’s List in April 2005 after his son, now Securities and Exchange lawyer Pete Senechalle, worked as political aid for Michael Madigan from 1998-2005.
Judge Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. has a fatal conflict of interests to be Chancery and Law Division Judge since his entire family and close friends are heavily involved in financial, insurance, legal and real estate business, including his brother, bankers’ lawyer Ronald Senechalle, who greatly benefit from Senechalle’s standing as a judge in Chancery and Law Divisions.
Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. appears to be a college classmate with well-connected Judge Francis Dolan whom Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. donated $$$ for his election.
According to lawyer Lanre Amu, Judge Dolan was a very sophisticated scam artist judge who had heavy connections with insurance companies. According to lawyer Amu, his opponents, Exedus Lounge’s insurance company “had Judge Dolan in their corner doing their bidding“; [Judge Dolan] had no sense of fairness and he was in fact biased towards plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel and in favor of defendant’s insurance attorneys” ; “Because he was unfairly prejudicial in this case, Judge Dolan was the henchman for the defendant insurance company” and “Judge Dolan had an unwritten relationship with the defendant insurance attorney.”
It comes as a little surprise. His well-connected friend, Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. has close ties with insurance companies, and also does not hesitate to lie from the bench; misrepresent case law; act in excess of all jurisdiction, terrorize average people from the bench; deprive them from all civil rights; conceal material evidence from case records to obstruct justice and defraud litigants and Higher Courts; even invite impersonator Lawyer Michael I. O’Malley- corrupt bully-impersonator, to pose as a “criminal prosecutor” at the public hearings where O’Malley tried to court a vote for judicial appointment from Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. after he lost his 2016 election.
During his tenure as a Chancery Judge Robert E. Senechalle fixed thousands fraudulent foreclosure cases for Wells Fargo bank and left hundreds of thousands Cook County residents homeless. According to statistics, in 2015 Chicago has over 130,000 homeless people, many families, thanks to corrupt judges like Senechalle.
All with total impunity because Robert E. Senechalle, Jr is a very -well connected political insider with close ties to the top Judicial and Attorney General offices.
Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. wife, Dorothea (aka Clancy Senechalle), between 2008-2014 was working as an Assistant Judge to her husband, without even having a legal license.
One of Robert Senechalle’s close friends was a well-connected banker, Jerry Vainisi, the President of Forest Park National Bank who since 1995 was a partner of well-connected Law Firm Hinshaw &Culbertson LLP.
Hinshaw &Culerbtson LLP are close friends to IL Democratic Party Speaker Michael Madigan who regularly helps his cronies to obtain judicial seats through his famous “Madigan’s List”, one of whom is Robert Senechalle, Jr. whose son Pete Senechalle since 1998 worked as a Political Aid for IL Democratic party, including 2004-2005 directly for Madigan.
Hinshaw &Culerbtson LLP gave millions to nearly all judicial and political elections and have at least SIX (6) sitting Judges in IL Courts: (1) Assigned Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. crony with long-time partner Jerome Vainisi; (2) three-times election loser James E. Snyder (assigned with Madigan’s List), brother to partner Gregory Snyder; (3) assigned 2008 election loser well-connected Thomas R. Mulroy, father of former partner Thomas R. Mulroy III; (4) Sharon Sullivan, sister to well-connected partner Peter Sullivan; (5) Cecilia Horan, former partner; (6) John Griffin, assigned to Law Division and now Appeal Court well-connected son of Judge James Griffin, nephew of Mr. Madigan’s Treasurer Joseph Griffin and long-time Chief Judge employee Helen Griffin; and a likely a relative to Joseph W. Griffin, former top partner who was heavily involved in insurance business, in whose favor Griffin fix cases in the most corrupt manner.
Robert E. Senechalle, Jr.’s well-connected friend is Jerry McBride, owner of McBride’s insurance agency. McBride and Senechalle were both neighbors and friends through their involvement in Oak Park’s St. Giles Parish.
Worth to mention, as soon as Bob Senechalle in 2005 was assigned by Mr. Madigan’s List on Judicial seat, Jerry McBride’s son, Jerome F. “JR” McBride Jr., former insurance broker, became a member of the DuPage County Board in 2006 where he was serving a Chair of the judicial committee. (One of JR McBride siblings was Joy (Terence)Gibson, who could be possibly related to assigned well-connected Judge Robert Gibson).
Of course it has nothing to do with his father and Bob Senechalle’s beneficial connections, specially with DuPage County Water Commissioner, assigned IL Supreme Court Justice Rathjle, who also was Robert Senechalle’s beneficiary.
Judge Robert E. Senechalle’s other long-time friend is Joseph Locke a Banker, who is currently Vice President at CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management with more than 19 years of industry experience helping high net worth families achieve their wealth management objectives. Senechalle, McBride and Locke are part of a 12-person group of friends who take a stag golfing vacation every March to Sea Island, Georgia. For years they would also wake up early on Sunday mornings to golf at 6 a.m. in Columbus Park. And they would often gather at each other’s homes to perform parodies that they had created of plays that they had seen. “He has a great wit,” said Locke. “We had a lot of fun sitting around writing parodies.” Senechalle, Locke, McBride and a few other local business people had a tradition of meeting every Tuesday and Thursday morning in Senechalle’s conference room for coffee.
Now Senechalle’s friends must have a lot of fun when Robert E. Senechalle, Jr fix cases in favor of his parties of interests, particularly Big Banks and their well-connected lawyers, particularly Mayer Brown LLP with whom Senechalle has family connections, launder illegal US Securities and steal honest services and properties from average people who are not belong to Senechalle’s sphere of interests, all with total impunity.
Another well-connected crony whom Robert E. Senechalle, Jr in 1999 gave $2,500.00 was Appointed Supreme Court Justice S. Louis Rathje. A
lifelong Wheaton resident and the son and grandson of judges, Rathje’s political ties landed him an appointed spot on the Illinois Supreme Court in January 1999, after two years on the DuPage circuit bench and two on the appeals court, was a political insider who in 2000 “loaned” himself $700,000.00 for his election; failed it and was removed from the bench the same year. Contributions to himself
After Rathje was removed from the bench in 2000 , he owned and operated a Real Estate Company while simultaneously served as DuPage County Water Commissioner.
Worth to mention, after Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. was moved to Law Division, his Chancery Division seat was assigned to Judge Patricia S. Spratt, wife of a well-connected Judge William J. Bauer, who has extensive connections in DuPage County, which without any doubts include Judge Senechalle’s cronies.
Justice Rides Inside Track
Supreme Court Justice S. Louis Rathje Is Counting On His Experience And Clout To Hold On To The Post He Received By Appointment.
Appointed Supreme Court Justice S. Louis Rathje is a political insider. He makes no bones about it and in fact, he is very proud of it.
And he does not flinch when his opponents in the March 21 Republican primary for Illinois Supreme Court justice try to use it against him.
“What are they looking for?” Rathje said recently over lunch at a Geneva cafe. “Change for change’s sake. That’s what they’re looking for. I don’t understand. I should become a political eunuch? Is that what they want?”
A lifelong Wheaton resident and the son and grandson of judges, Rathje’s political ties landed him an appointed spot on the Illinois Supreme Court in January 1999, after two years on the DuPage circuit bench and two on the appeals court.
To keep the job for a full 10-year term, he must defeat challengers Bob Thomas, an appeals court judge, and DuPage Circuit Judge Bonnie Wheaton.
The winner will face trial attorney Larry Drury, a Democrat from Highland Park, in the November general election. The 2nd Judicial District encompasses 13 northern Illinois counties, including DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry.
All three GOP candidates have received “well qualified” ratings from the Illinois State Bar Association and recommended ratings from other bar groups.
But Rathje also has the support of Illinois Atty. Gen. Jim Ryan and state Senate President James “Pate” Philip (R-Wood Dale), giving him legions of Republican volunteers to help him spread his message: “integrity, ability and experience.”
Rathje seems removed–almost unaware–of exactly what the GOP organization and campaign are doing for him.
In his daily appearances, he recites his record: 36 years as an attorney, 28 practicing law with the Wheaton firm of Rathje, Woodward, Dyer & Burt, and five years as a judge.
Woodward is Alfred Woodward, a retired Illinois appellate judge and the father of journalist Bob Woodward. Al Woodward persuaded Rathje to come work for the firm after Rathje graduated from Northwestern University Law School in 1964.
“For $5,600 a year, I handled appeals,” Rathje said. After a time, he did trial work, handling several types of cases including divorce, chancery, tort liability and insurance defense.
“I’ve handled all kinds of cases,” Rathje emphasizes, knowing that his opponents are telling voters that Rathje has the least amount of experience as a judge.
Although he has Ryan’s support, Rathje, 60, angered some prosecutors over a few appeals court opinions he wrote overturning murder convictions.
But his scrupulous attention to defendants’ rights also won him praise from the private civil bar.
“I practiced before him on the circuit court, when he was hearing money disputes,” said Wheaton attorney Tim Whelan. “He was very fair and meticulous in terms of reviewing the law. He never made snap decisions. He would always wait for a briefing.”
In a 1998 opinion that infuriated prosecutors, Rathje overturned the murder conviction of Eric Robles of Bartlett for killing his parents. Rathje said the “guilty but mentally ill” verdict under which Robles was convicted was unconstitutional.
The Illinois Supreme Court overturned Rathje and upheld the conviction. (Rathje already had been appointed to the high court when the Robles case landed there, but he took no part in the ruling.)
Perhaps in response to prosecutorial concerns, one of Rathje’s radio ads highlight his legal opinions that upheld convictions: “Rathje wrote four majority (Supreme Court) opinions involving multiple murders. In each case, Lou Rathje affirmed the constitutionality of the death penalty,” the ad says.
Another advertisement highlights his folksy, old-time political style.
The advertisement is set in a diner and features a lighthearted chat between a waitress named Marge, and two customers–Henry and an unnamed person.
“Henry, know anything about these judges,” the unnamed person asks.
“Reading about them now,” Henry responds.
“Who has the most experience?”
“Legal experience? Lou Rathje. Thirty-six years as an attorney,” Henry responds.
On a recent day, Rathje was in his St. Charles Supreme Court office swearing in attorneys who had just arrived from out of state and listening to his law clerks brief him on upcoming cases.
Dressed in suspenders that depict the image of Lady Justice, and a tie containing a collage of elephants on a bright yellow background, Rathje made small talk with a new Naperville resident who needed to be sworn in to practice in Illinois.
When he laughs, he raises his right hand up behind his head, almost as if he is feeling self-conscious.
When the young lawyer complained of parking problems at one of the Naperville train stations, Rathje said: “You should call my brother-in-law” who owns a parking garage.
Rathje’s father, Bertram E. Rathje, was chief judge in DuPage County in the late 1950s.
His grandfather, Sylvanus Louis Rathje, was a circuit judge in the 1920s, and his three uncles were attorneys.
Growing up, his mother always told him and his sisters ” `Don’t do anything that will embarrass your dad.’ And that pretty much kept us on the straight and narrow,” Rathje said.
Rathje, like the other candidates, is not at liberty to discuss his opinions on issues that might come before the court.
But asked in an interview with the Tribune editorial board about the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade abortion decision, Rathje said he believed the justices might have erred in their legal reasoning.
He said he believes abortion restrictions–if there are to be any–should be left to the legislature.
“I’m not a judicial activist,” Rathje said. “I believe in judicial restraint.”
Among the U.S. Supreme Court justices he admires are Antonin Scalia and John Paul Stevens.
Rathje acknowledges he has led somewhat of a privileged life. He does not know what it is to be poor or from a broken home, he said. He does not know what it is like to be addicted to drugs or without a job.
“I am a product of my background. I know from whence I came,” Rathje said.