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Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chicago Lawyer appointed Cook County Judges

Justice Charles E. Freeman and the Illinois Supreme Court announced Tuesday the appointments of an assistant U.S. Attorney and a longtime Chicago lawyer as Cook County circuit judges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie E. Hamilton was appointed as Circuit Judge in the 12th Subcircuit and Chicago lawyer John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. was appointed as At-Large Circuit Judge in Cook County.

Ms. Hamilton will fill the vacancy created by the June 15, 2015 retirement of Circuit Judge Sandra Tristano and Mr. Lyke will fill the vacancy left by the July 6, 2015 retirement of Circuit Judge Paul P. Biebel Jr.

Ms. Hamilton's appointment takes effect July 17, 2015 and Mr. Lyke's appointment takes effect July 16, 2015. Both will terminate December 5, 2016, when the positions will be filled by the 2016 General Election.

Both Ms. Hamilton and Mr. Lyke received qualified or recommended ratings from the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screenings, which is comprised of 11 bar groups that work together to screen judicial candidates in Cook County, and the Chicago Bar Association.

Ms. Hamilton, 44, began her career at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago in April 2001 and has been the Deputy Chief of the office's Public Corruption & Organized Crime Section since July 2012.

“I am extremely grateful to Justice Freeman and the Illinois Supreme Court for this appointment," Ms. Hamilton said. "I am honored to serve the citizens of Cook County and the 12th Judicial Subcircuit. I look forward to continuing my commitment to public service with the hard work, integrity and fairness that this position demands.”

During her 14 years as an assistant U.S. Attorney, Ms. Hamilton has served on the prosecution teams in several high-profile public corruption cases, including those resulting in the convictions of former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko and members of the terrorist organization Hamas.

As Deputy Chief of the Public Corruption & Organized Crime Section, Ms. Hamilton oversees all of the office's public corruption cases and supervises numerous prosecutors assigned to federal grand jury investigations and trials involving corruption, organized crime, complex financial fraud, money laundering, tax, health care crimes, narcotics, firearms violations, violent gang activity, child exploitation and prostitution.

Ms. Hamilton received Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 1993. She earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1996 from Northwestern University School of Law.

After law school, Ms. Hamilton worked as a litigation associate concentrating in complex commercial litigation at the Chicago law firms of Katten, Muchin & Zavis (1996-1998) and Grippo & Elden (1999-2001).

Ms. Hamilton is a member of the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.

She lives in the 12th Subcircuit, which includes parts of Maine, Wheeling, Elk Grove, New Trier and Northfield townships.

Mr. Lyke, 50, began his legal career in November 1994 as an assistant Cook County State's Attorney.

He worked in the office's community prosecution, felony trial, felony review, grand jury, homicide and sex, juvenile and traffic divisions until June 2000, when he left to open up his own practice.

"I am very thankful for Justice Charles Freeman and the other justices for their faith and trust in my ability to do the job of judge," Mr. Lyke said.

In his private practice, Mr. Lyke handles criminal defense and personal injury matters. He also served as an Administrative Law Judge for the City of Chicago's Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection from November 2006 to December 2011.

Mr. Lyke received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Chicago State University in 1990. He earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1994 from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Before attending college, Mr. Lyke served as a Communications Specialist in the United States Army from September 1982 to September 1984 and served as a Communications Sergeant in the Illinois National Guard during college from October 1984 to October 1988.

Mr. Lyke has also worked as a part-time professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Harold Washington College and is member of several bar associations, including the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association and National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Posted on July 7, 2015 by Chris Bonjean