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Matthew Kennelly

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Matthew Kennelly
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #5
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   4/22/1999 - Present
Preceded by:   Paul Plunkett
Personal History
Born:   1956
Hometown:   Marion, IN
Undergraduate:   University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1978
Law School:   Harvard Law School, J.D., 1981

Matthew F. Kennelly is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He joined the court in 1999 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.

Early life and education

Born in Marion, Indiana, Kennelly obtained a bachelor's degree from Notre Dame in 1978 and his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1981.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Northern District of Illinois

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Kennelly was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by President Bill Clinton to a seat vacated by Paul Plunkett. Kennelly was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 15, 1999 on a Senate vote and received commission on April 22, 1999.[1]

Notable cases

"Fast Eddie" case: Chicago Alderman Edward Vrdolyak guilty of fraud (2009)

     United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (United States, v. Edward R. Vrdolyak, 09-1891)

Judge Kennelly was assigned to re-sentence former Chicago Alderman Eddie Vrdolyak in 2009. The former alderman was convicted that year of being involved in a kickback scheme that defrauded money from a medical school as part of a real estate transaction. District Judge Milton Shadur sentenced Vrdolyak to five years probation, along with a fine and community service.[2]

Judge Kennelly was assigned to handle the re-sentencing after a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel led by Judge Richard Posner rejected the sentencing order by Judge Shadur that gave Vrdolyak no jail time. The Seventh Circuit said that Shadur's sentencing contained a "...cascade of errors and ommissions," and Posner's opinion commented that "...the crime suggests that there can be no assurance that if let off with a slap on the wrist, the defendant will not commit a future crime."[2]

Judge Kennelly subsequently re-sentenced Vrdolyak to 10 months in federal prison, along with a period of work release and home confinement, as well as a fine. The former 10th Ward Alderman, age 72, was later put on electronic monitoring during his home imprisonment. Judge Kennelly, in April 2012, allowed Vrdolyak to end his home imprisonment three months early, and assigned him 300 hours of community service in order to complete his sentence.[3][4]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Paul Plunkett
Northern District of Illinois
Seat #5
Succeeded by:

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