A North Side business owner slapped a 79-year-old Cook County judge
in the face, spit on her and called her “Rosa Parks” after becoming
angry that she was smoking near him outside the Daley Center,
Monday’s attack outside the courthouse came as a shock to friends of
Judge Arnette Hubbard, a silver-haired African-American jurist who was
the first female president of the National Bar Association and Cook
County Bar Association, both black lawyers’ groups.
“She’s an icon in our community,” said Delores Robinson, past
president of the Cook County Bar Association, who noted that Hubbard, a
former commissioner on the Cook County Board of Elections, had been an
international election observer in Haiti and South Africa and had long
been a voice on civil rights and women’s issues.Cook County prosecutors
said Tuesday that Hubbard was outside the Daley Center smoking a
cigarette when she walked past David C. Nicosia, 55, who became angry
that she was smoking near him.
The two argued and Nicosia, who is white, stepped near her face and
said, “Rosa Parks, move,” and spit in her face, prosecutors said. As he
walked away, the Law Division judge followed him and called out for
Nicosia then turned and allegedly slapped the judge on the left side
of her face with an open hand, prosecutors said. He was then arrested by
sheriff’s deputies and charged with four counts of aggravated battery
and a hate crime.
Judge James Brown ordered him held on $90,000 bail Tuesday.
Chief Judge Timothy Evans, whose offices are also in the Daley
Center, declined to comment. A representative said judicial rules of
conduct barred Evans from speaking about a pending criminal case.
Born in Arkansas, Hubbard graduated from Southern Illinois University
and John Marshall Law School and began her legal career in 1969 working
on civil rights cases, according to online biographies. As part of the
city’s African-American power structure, she spent several terms on the
city’s election board as well as the cable commission.
Hubbard was appointed to the bench in 1997, re-elected to a six-year
term the following year and retained since in two more elections, most
recently in 2010.
Nicosia, who state records show is president of an IT consulting
business, has no prior Cook County convictions. His attorney did not
return a message seeking comment.
Friends of Hubbard were left shaking their heads Tuesday.
“People of good common sense and decency, people of good hearts
should be outraged by this,” Robinson said. “Not just because of who she
is but that this happened to anybody.”
“I’m still in shock,” said longtime friend Geraldine Simmons, 75,
also a past president of the Cook County Bar Association, who questioned
whether deputies acted quickly enough
Source: Chicago Tribune