In September, 1987, Lauren began her distinguished 30-year career as an Assistant State's Attorney (A.S.A.) at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office (CCSAO). During her first decade as a prosecutor, she was assigned to handle appeals, misdemeanor prosecutions, domestic violence cases, "felony review," preliminary hearings, grand jury investigations/indictments, narcotics prosecutions, sex crimes, child exploitation cases, robberies, armed robberies, aggravated batteries, burglaries, residential burglaries, thefts, attempt murders, and first degree murder cases. She litigated countless felony motions, bench trials, and jury trials in some of the busiest courtrooms in the country.
In March, 1997, Lauren was assigned to the Public Integrity Unit (PIU) of the Special Prosecutions Bureau where she was promoted to "first chair" and focused on the investigative review, indictment, and prosecution of public officials and public employees, including law enforcement officers. In addition to her PIU duties, she became a member of the Capital Litigation Trial Bar and successfully indicted and prosecuted defendant Milton Hampton for the rape/strangulation murder of a 65 year-old woman.
During the last 12 years of her career, Lauren and a very small group of A.S.A.s were designated to focus solely on the investigative review and prosecution, when appropriate, of law enforcement officers throughout Cook County alleged to have committed felony misconduct. As the senior member of that unit, she handled numerous high-profile cases including the well publicized prosecutions of Chicago Police Officer (CPO) Anthony Abbate and three CPOs in the "Jefferson Tap" case. In 2004 and 2005, she supervised the investigation and indictment of the "Melesio" and "Redman" Chicago Police Department (CPD) Special Operations Section cases. In 2006, she successfully prosecuted Cook County Sheriff Correctional Officer (CCSCO) Kenyata Sanders for attempting to smuggle a gun and knife to her boyfriend, a Cook County Jail inmate in custody for first degree murder. Most recently, she handled the indictments and prosecutions of CPD Commander Glenn Evans, CPD Sgt. Edward Howard, CPO Michael Bergeson, CPO Erin Mowry, Illinois State Police Trooper Juan Lopez, CPD Evidence Custodian Pamela Brown, and CCSCO Rico Palomino.
For all of her cases, Lauren voted her own grand jury subpoenas, drafted her own indictments, and interviewed countless complainants, witnesses, police officers, and correctional officers. She obtained every relevant document and piece of evidence available to her in every case, often requested additional investigation, and drafted detailed, confidential charging recommendation memorandums, many of which were reviewed by the elected State's Attorneys themselves. Part and parcel of many of these investigations, she regularly reviewed Use of Force Continuums, department rules and regulations, and developed a thorough understanding of procedures dictated by Garrity v. New Jersey."
In addition, Lauren's former unit reviews all of the officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths in the entire county. She personally reviewed countless shootings for possible criminal conduct on the part of the officers and learned much from "dotting the "I"s and crossing the "t"s. She worked closely with investigators and supervisors from CPD's Bureau of Internal Affairs (IAD), the Independent Police Review Authority ("IPRA," now the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, "COPA"), the ISP Public Integrity Task Force, the ISP Division of Internal Investigations, and the Sheriff's Office of Professional Review, as well as other municipal agencies who acted as the case investigators. She is intimately familiar with the investigative files from all of these agencies as well as CCSAO felony prosecution files. She understands Garrity-compelled administrative statement law and procedure, received training and certification in Force Science Analysis from the Force Science Research Institute, and in June, 2016, she attended the National Attorneys General Training Institute's (NAGTRI's) National Effective Practices and Protocols for Officer-involved Shootings Symposium.
In January 2019, Lauren was selected to serve as a Hearing Officer for the Chicago Police Board . There, she will preside over administrative hearings for charges alleging the most serious police misconduct committed by Chicago Police Officers. She is also a member of the NDAA, ABA, the CBA's Judicial Evaluation Committee, and the IL Prosecutors Bar Association.
Lauren's extensive prosecutorial background positions her as an invaluable independent consultant, expert witness, and litigation assistant, for cases alleging prosecutorial misconduct, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and wrongful conviction. With a uniquely experienced and critical eye, she is able to assess investigations and prosecutions and draft expert reports which could prove crucial to prosecutors, plaintiffs, and defendants, alike