DuPage County judge accused of discharging gun remains off bench

Patrick O'Shea found not guilty in March of reckless conduct

DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Shea still has not returned to the bench after being found not guilty in March of reckless conduct after he allegedly discharged a gun last fall in his Wheaton apartment.

Since March 26, O'Shea has been assigned to administrative duties. He is continuing with those duties, said John Lapinski, trial court administrator for the 18th Judicial Circuit, in an email.

Kane County Associate Judge Keith Johnson on March 2 ruled O'Shea was not guilty of reckless conduct. In his ruling, Johnson said prosecutors did not provide sufficient evidence to show O'Shea was guilty of reckless conduct during the incident, which occurred Sept. 15, 2017.

On Sept. 24, O'Shea's neighbors discovered what appeared to be a fired bullet on their living room floor, according to a police report obtained by Suburban Life Media through a Freedom of Information Act request. They were not home at the time of the incident.

However, Johnson had said O'Shea was "very negligent in the handling of a firearm," saying it was fortunate no one was injured in the incident. He also chastised O'Shea for not initially telling the truth about how the incident occurred. O'Shea allegedly told an apartment complex staff member the bullet hole was caused by a screwdriver, according to the report.

In the complaint against him, O'Shea was charged with "pointing a firearm at a common wall of his apartment, and pulling the trigger without first determining that the firearm was not loaded, causing the firearm to discharge, causing a bullet to enter the living area of the adjoining apartment."

Johnson heard the evidence against O'Shea, 67, of the 200 block of East Willow Avenue, Wheaton, during a bench trial Feb. 20. The case was moved to Kane County to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. The Illinois Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor was appointed special prosecutor in the case.