Ex-Judge in Greylord Court Probe Gets 10 Years in Jail, $33,000 Fine

United Press International

A former Cook County circuit judge was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday and fined $33,000 for his illegal dealings with attorneys revealed in Operation Greylord, a federal investigation of corruption in the nation's largest court system.

John Reynolds was the sixth current or former judge to be sentenced in the undercover investigation and the first to be fined.

U.S. District Judge William T. Hart said he arrived at the $33,000 figure because that was the amount "proven beyond a reasonable doubt" that Reynolds received in bribes from lawyers in exchange for dismissing charges and returning favorable verdicts against their clients.

"This case is truly a tragedy," Hart said. "The defendant recognizes that it is a personal tragedy. But it is a personal tragedy for the criminal justice system. Five attorneys and six court clerks testified to their complicity."

Reynolds, 55, was convicted May 7 of one count each of racketeering and conspiracy, 31 counts of mail fraud and three counts of filing false federal income tax returns.

"The evidence clearly indicates that the defendant is a person of intelligence and a good family man . . . but it cannot be ignored that the defendant took the witness stand and denied all 36 counts against him," Hart said. "I have to reject the defendant's testimony."

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