Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Administrator Mary T. Robinson announced her resignation effective March 16.
Two Illinois Supreme Court Justices issued statements on Robinson's departure, which will occur on her 15th anniversary of taking office.
"We hate to see her go," Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert R. Thomas said. "Mary is a talented lawyer and administrator, and she is a genuine pleasure to work with."
The ARDC is the Illinois Supreme Court agency that regulates the legal profession in this state and investigates alleged wrongdoing by Illinois attorneys, holds hearings on specific charges, and recommends professional discipline where warranted.
Last month the ARDC filed a complaint against Lakin Law Firm founder Lowell Thomas Lakin charging him with sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor and with delivering controlled substances.
Robinson said she plans to remain in the professional responsibility field conducting programs and training, and serving as an expert witness and an ethics consultant.
Thomas added, "It speaks volumes that, after 15 years, she leaves her post as the head of the attorney disciplinary commission with far more friends than when she arrived. Everyone who has worked with her is better for the experience, and the Court wishes her nothing but success."
Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, who serves as the Supreme Court liaison to the ARDC said, "Policing the legal profession is one of the least appreciated but most important responsibilities of the Supreme Court."
"Mary Robinson has been indispensable to that effort. During her 15-year tenure as administrator of the ARDC, she brought to the organization an extraordinary combination of management skills, legal ability and devotion to the public trust."
Karmeier also added, "Her commitment to her work and to the Court have been remarkable. The Court was fortunate to have her counsel and I know I speak for all of my colleagues when I say she will truly be missed."
Robinson wrote in her resignation letter, "I have been privileged to serve as ARDC Administrator since March 16, 1992…I committed to a tenure of five years, and after five years, I had accomplished much of what I had intended. Yet I stayed because, truth be told, this is a much finer professional opportunity than I had foreseen.
"Every day, I enjoyed the company of talented, dedicated lawyers on both sides of the cases. Our work was important and interesting. I served a Supreme Court that provided the resources and independence necessary to do the work, and I reported to a Commission that set sound policy and provided sage guidance."
The ARDC will conduct a search for a new administrator and will announce Robinson's replacement in the spring.
Composed of seven members, three of whom are non-lawyers, the ARDC commissioners will screen applicants and, subject to the approval of the Illinois Supreme Court, appoint a new administrator.
O'Fallon attorney John Paul Kujawski serves as one of ARDC's seven commissioners through 2009.
Persons interested in the administrator position should send a letter of interest and a resume to: Eva Tramutolo, Manager, Human Resources, ARDC, 130 East Randolph Dr., Suite 1500, Chicago, Illinois 60601.
The ARDC commissioners also establish policies and appoint members of the ARDC Inquiry and Hearing Boards.
More than 100 full time employees and over 100 lawyer and non-lawyer volunteers work for the ARDC. All funds expended by the agency are from annual fees paid by Illinois attorneys. There are no tax dollars used to support the disciplinary system. Yearly fees are imposed on most Illinois lawyers to fund the ARDC. There are two ARDC offices: One Prudential Plaza in Chicago and the One North Old Capitol Plaza in Springfield.