Rahm Emanuel Reports For Jury Duty, Tweets From Jury Pool Room
Updated 02/05/13 – 5:08 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Even Chicago’s big boss doesn’t get out of jury duty–or at least reporting for jury duty.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel arrived at the Daley Center courthouse around 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, going through a security check, just like everybody else.
His only comment as he arrived was when he checked in on FourSquare: “Performing my civic duty for the American judicial system. #juryduty.”
Reporters got just a glimpse of him inside the jury room, apparently walking back and forth to a restroom.
While reporters and photographers were kept 100 feet away, the mayor’s two-man security detail and three other aides went with him into the jury room.
As he waited to be called for a panel, he sat at a table with other potential jurors. His office tweeted a photo of the mayor on the phone, taking notes, with papers in front of him.
Shortly before 10 a.m., the mayor tweeted an update, along with a picture, as he waited with the jury pool.
The mayor being allowed to take a photo inside jury room seemed a bit odd, as Cook County Chief Judge has begun taking steps to ban cell phones and their cameras from virtually every Cook County courthouse.
“We recognize there are special circumstances. This is a special circumstance. As I understand it, the mayor was gracious, and he responded to requests that people made of him to take a photograph,” Evans told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.
The cell phone ban at Cook County courthouses does not apply to the Daley Center. Initially, the ban was scheduled to take effect last month, but Evans has announced a grace period until April 15.
Until then, courthouse visitors will be informed of the pending ban on cellphones, laptops, and tablets – and urge them to leave such devices in their cars. The county will also work on devising a storage system for each affected courthouse to accommodate anyone who uses public transportation or walks to the courthouses.
After the mayor’s photo-op in the jury room, he apparently got some reading done for a couple hours. What book? Ike’s Bluff, which documents Dwight D. Eisenhower’s time in the White House.
After 2 ½ hours of waiting, Emanuel’s jury panel was called to a courtroom to be interviewed for a case.
Ultimately, Emanuel was dismissed.
Asked if he would pick the mayor for a jury, attorney Ted Woerthwein said, “It’d be just a gut feel. Who knows what your gut feel would be at that time? He’s got a lot of interesting qualities both ways.”
A few minutes after Emanuel was dismissed, CBS 2 caught up with him walking across the street to City Hall.
Asked if he was disappointed he wasn’t picked, the mayor said, “You know, I got a lot of reading done.”
Evans called the Emanuel’s appearance for jury duty – the first by a sitting mayor in recent memory – was “an important and symbolic event.”
“Everyone now knows that no one is excluded, that everyone must do his or her public duty,” Evans said.
Like anyone who reports for jury duty in Cook County, Emanuel received a $17 check from the county for his time. His office said he’ll donate the money back to the county.