Commissioners and Staff

Commissioners


Kathleen Pantle
Alternate/Acting Chair 
(Retired Circuit Court Judge)

Kathleen Pantle served as a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County for over 19 years.  For eleven and one-half years, she sat in the General Chancery Division where she presided over complex civil cases, including cases seeking injunctive relief, declaratory judgments, administrative review matters, disputes involving real property, and commercial litigation.  Prior to be assigned to the Chancery Division Judge Pantle served in the Criminal Division, the Juvenile Justice Division, and the First Municipal Division.

Judge Pantle was an Assistant Cook County Public Defender for over fourteen years before joining the bench.  She served in the Homicide Task Force for nine years.  She also served in the Felony Trial Division, the Appeals Division, and the Post-Conviction Relief Unit.

Judge Pantle served on the Illinois Supreme Court Pattern Jury Instructions Committee for Criminal Cases for nine years, including two years in which she chaired the Committee.  She also served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Education for five years.  Judge Pantle is the co-author of the "Arrest, Search, and Seizure" chapter for the IICLE publication Defending Illinois Criminal Cases.

Judge Pantle is a frequent speaker at seminars.  Along with Illinois Appellate Court Justice Mary Anne Mason, Judge Pantle presented on the following:  "Common Issues in Criminal and Civil Cases", "Restrictive Covenants in Employment Agreements", "SOJs, Disclosures, and Recusals", and "Declaratory Judgments".  Judge Pantle was also a co-presenter on a CBA seminar on e-discovery and an Education Conference co-presenter on evidentiary issues in criminal cases. 

Judge Pantle was a coach of the DePaul University School of Law Trial Team from 2002 through 2012. DePaul won the Georgetown White Collar Crime Competition in 2006. 


Marilyn Baldwin

Commissioner (Public)

Marilyn Baldwin has been a tireless advocate of victim's rights for 30 years. Along with the National Organization of Victim Assistance (N.O.V.A.) and the Justice Department, Marilyn spearheaded a breakthrough program to support and guide the families of the victims of John Wayne Gacy through the long and anguishing appeals process and finally through to his execution.  She created the annual Homicide Memorial for families of homicide victims.  She also developed the first appellate/post-conviction Victim/Witness Program in the country.  Marilyn was instrumental in changing Illinois law to allow victims to be official witnesses at executions, for which she created a national protocol.  She also represented the State's Attorney's Office on the Governor's Commission on the Death Penalty. ​

From 1986 to 2012, Marilyn was a Victim-Witness Specialist with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.  In 1989 she became a National Association of Victim Advocates Conference Coordinator, and presented numerous workshops for NOVA.  Marilyn created and managed the annual National Victims' Rights Week including reception, rallies, education sessions and support groups.  She assisted in the creation and implementation of new Victim/Witness programs including: Informational and Training Seminars, Homicide and Sexual Assault Support Groups, and Post-Conviction.  She has also coordinated victim-witness services and training for other victim affiliated non-profits

Craig Futterman
Alternate Commissioner
(Law School Professor)

Craig B. Futterman is a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He founded and has served as the Director of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic since 2000. Before his appointment to the Law Faculty, Professor Futterman was a Lecturer in Law and Director of Public Interest Programs at Stanford Law School. He previously joined Futterman & Howard, Chtd., a boutique law firm concentrating in complex federal litigation. There, Prof. Futterman specialized in civil rights and constitutional matters, with a special focus on racial discrimination, education, and police brutality. Before that, he served as a trial attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Cook County Public Defender's Office.

Mr. Futterman received his J.D. from Stanford Law School and graduated with the highest distinction from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Economics.

Robert Loeb
Commissioner
(Law School Professor)

Robert Loeb is an Adjunct Professor of Law at DePaul Law School.  He is a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago, and previously served as an Assistant State's Attorney at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Steven Miller
Commissioner
(Criminal Defense Lawyer)

Steven Miller is a partner at Reed Smith in Chicago, where he focuses on complex criminal law enforcement matters.  He previously served as an Assistant United State's Attorney in Chicago, where he served as Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division.

James Mullenix
Commissioner
(Former Public Defender)

James Mullenix brings nearly 35 years of experience as a defense attorney to the commission.

Currently, Mullenix is an attorney at Koehler Mullenix, LLC where he handles criminal defense cases. Prior to his work in private practice, he was an Assistant Public Defender at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office. In this role he handled a wide-variety of cases from misdemeanors to capital murder cases.

Stephen J. Thurston, Sr.

Commissioner (Public) ​

Reverend Stephen Thurston brings a lifetime of community service to the Commission.

Thurston serves as the Pastor and CEO of New Covenant Baptist Church in Chicago, where he oversees the church congregation and serves as chairman of the board of directors. He has been with the church since 1979.

Thurston’s community service outside of his church includes being a member of the NAACP and a former president of the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. He also previously served on the Illinois Ethics Board from 2008 to 2011.

Thurston received a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy from Bishop College. ​



Tim Touhy
Commissioner (Public)
Tim Touhy is a longtime public relations and public affairs consultant with keen insight into criminal law and civil litigation. He previously served as a spokesperson for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, working closely with former Cook County State's Attorneys Cecil A. Partee, Jack O'Malley and Richard A. Devine as well as their top prosecutors. Tim also served as an assistant press secretary to former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar. He has spearheaded local, regional and national public relations campaigns as a vice president at the public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton in its Chicago and Washington offices. He has worked closely with Rob Warden, executive director emeritus and co-founder of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, on criminal justice reform issues and abolition of the death penalty in Illinois.
​Chair
(Retired Circuit Court Judge)
​Vacant
Commissioner
(​Former Prosecuting Attorney)
​Vacant
​Alternate Commissioner
(Former Prosecuting Attorney)
​Vacant
​Alternate Commissioner
(Criminal Defense Lawyer)
​Vacant
​Alternate Commissioner
(Former Public Defender)
​Vacant
​Alternate Commissioner
(Public)
​Vacant
​Alternate Commissioner
(Public)
​Vacant
​Alternate Commissioner
(Public)
​Vacant


Staff

​Rob Olmstead
Executive Director
Before joining the Commission as Staff Attorney in 2014, Mr. Olmstead worked as an Assistant Attorney General in Illinois and as a Law Clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Harry D. Leinenweber in Chicago.  While attending The John Marshall Law School, Mr. Olmstead designed and conducted corporate fraud and theft investigations for the Vander Weele Group in Chicago; he also participated in investigations as a legal intern at the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor, and the Office of General Counsel to the Illinois Governor.  Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Olmstead worked for 13 years as a reporter and editor at the Daily Herald newspaper, covering federal and Cook County courts, Cook County government, the Illinois Gaming Board and public corruption.
​Michelle Jenkins
Staff Attorney
​Michelle Jenkins is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School and Spelman College. Prior to joining the Commission, Michelle served as a Law Clerk for 42 judges across the 4th and 6th District Circuit Courts of Cook County. As Law Clerk, she advised judges on how-to rule in criminal, civil, and domestic matters. Ms. Jenkins has also worked in varying capacities for First Defense Legal Aid, the Federal Defender Program, and the Cook County States Attorney’s Office.
DeAndrea Brown
Administrative Assistant
​DeAndrea Brown is a May, 2016, graduate of Eastern Illinois University where she obtained a bachelor's degree in sociology and a pre-law minor.  She was immediately hired upon graduation as a legal assistant in a private law office, where she worked before joining TIRC in January, 2018. Before college, Ms. Brown worked supporting disabled individuals with their daily living needs and obtaining greater independence.