State’s Attorney Foxx Announces Key Leadership for her 2nd-Term

First Assistant, Chief Deputy & Criminal Prosecutions Bureau Chief to all be held by women for first time in office history
December 9, 2020

On the heels of her swearing-in for her second term as Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx announced key leadership roles within her office: Jennifer Coleman, First Assistant State’s Attorney; Risa Lanier, Chief Deputy State’s Attorney; and Natosha Toller, Chief, Criminal Prosecutions Bureau. A history-making move by Foxx, this is the first time these roles will be simultaneously held by women.

“I am excited to have the experience of these veteran prosecutors as a part of my executive leadership team to advance the critical work of this office,” said State’s Attorney Foxx. “Their dedication to public service and commitment to their colleagues and staff is exemplary which will serve this administration well, as we continue our renewed focus on criminal justice reform for the people of Cook County,” Foxx continued.

Jennifer Coleman, First Assistant: A Cook County prosecutor for 25 years, Jennifer has held supervisory positions in various assignments at the SAO including, Domestic Violence, First Municipal, Felony Review, the Felony Trial Division and Narcotics. As First Assistant, Coleman will be Foxx’s top advisor on day-to-day legal operations of the State’s Attorney’s Office and represent the office as chief delegate for law enforcement and other local and state criminal justice stakeholders. She will also manage the top leadership of the office. Coleman replaces former Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats, who retired in November.

“Jenny’s sound judgement and reputation is well respected by Assistant State’s Attorneys, administrative staff and colleagues. I am pleased that she accepted this important role and I look forward to working closely with her as we carry out the vision of this administration on behalf of everyone in Cook County,” said Foxx.

Risa Lanier, Chief Deputy: A veteran prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience, Lanier has successfully prosecuted several high-profile cases, including the murder of Chicago Police

Department Commander Paul Bauer. She is the first Black woman to have overseen the office’s Criminal Prosecutions Bureau and in her new role as Chief Deputy, Lanier will be responsible for guiding the office’s legal strategy, policy initiatives and court support.

“Risa’s unwavering commitment to the work of the State’s Attorney’s Office has been demonstrated not only by her continued progression in our office, but also through mentorship and leadership to colleagues both in and out of the office. I’m thrilled to have Risa join my executive team where her decades of expertise will provide a strong perspective for the critical work we do as the nation’s second largest prosecutor’s office,” said Foxx.

Natosha Toller, Criminal Prosecutions Bureau Chief: An Assistant State’s Attorney since 2005, Toller, formerly Deputy Chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, replaces Lanier as the head of the largest bureau in the State’s Attorney’s Office which handles more than 30,000 felony cases each year. As Chief, Toller will help guide policies, procedures and trainings for Assistant State’s Attorneys to ensure prosecutions are handled fairly and justly. Before becoming Deputy Chief, Natosha worked in various areas of the office, including Deputy Supervisor of Felony review, the division responsible for reviewing cases to determine if and what charges are appropriate.

“As Deputy Chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, Natosha showed great initiative and attention to the cases she worked on and was the natural choice to move into the new role as Chief of this critical department at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. She is both well-equipped and prepared to lead this important bureau,” said Foxx.

This week at her second-term swearing-in, Foxx announced she will be pushing forward a progressive agenda around tackling gun violence and a renewed commitment to working closely with law enforcement and community partners to bring positive change earlier in the crime cycle to address the needs of Cook County citizens. Foxx believes the expertise of these appointments—and the other leadership roles within her office—will drive this agenda forward. Coleman, Lanier and Toller’s appointments are effective immediately.

Other members of Foxx’s executive team include Jennifer Ballard Croft, Chief of Staff; Meriel Coleman, Chief Ethics Officer; Philina King, General Counsel; Alyson Miller, Deputy Chief of Staff; Matthew Saniie, Chief Data Officer; and Sarah Sinovic, Director of External Affairs.