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Rahm Emanuel, Chicago mayor, reports for jury duty, tweets all about it

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reporting for jury duty at the Daley Center courthouse in Chicago, Ill., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.
CBS Chicago
(CBS) CHICAGO - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reported for jury duty Tuesday, arriving at the Daley Center courthouse around 8:15 a.m., and going through a security check, just like everybody else, CBS Chicago reported.

His only comment as he arrived was when he checked in on FourSquare: "Performing my civic duty for the American judicial system. #juryduty."

Reporters got a glimpse of the mayor inside the jury room, as he apparently walked back and forth to a restroom (guess he really is like everybody else!)

While reporters and photographers were kept 100 feet away, Emanuel's two-man security detail and three other aides went with him into the jury room.

As he waited to be called for a panel, he sat at a table with other potential jurors. His office tweeted a photo of the mayor on the phone, taking notes, with papers in front of him.

Shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday, Mayor Emanuel tweeted an update, along with a picture, as he waited with the jury pool.

Part of the message Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tweeted from the jury pool room on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.
CBS Chicago

According to CBS Chicago, the mayor being allowed to take a photo inside the jury room seemed a bit odd, since Chief Judge Timothy Evans has begun taking steps to ban cell phones and their cameras from virtually every Cook County courthouse.

"We recognize there are special circumstances. This is a special circumstance. As I understand it, the mayor was gracious, and he responded to requests that people made of him to take a photograph," Evans told the station.

The cell phone ban at Cook County courthouses does not apply to the Daley Center. Initially, the ban was scheduled to take effect last month, but Evans has announced a grace period until April 15.

After 2 hours of waiting, Emanuel's jury panel was called to a courtroom to be interviewed for a case.

Ultimately, the mayor - and former Obama administration Chief of Staff - was dismissed.

Asked if he was disappointed he wasn't picked, Emanuel said, "You know, I got a lot of reading done."

Judge Evans said Emanuel's appearance for jury duty - the first by a sitting Chicago mayor in recent memory - was "an important and symbolic event."

"Everyone now knows that no one is excluded, that everyone must do his or her public duty," Evans said.

Like anyone who reports for jury duty in Cook County, Emanuel received a $17 check from the county for his time. The mayor's office said he'll donate the money back to the county, CBS Chicago reported.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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