Practice Alerts

312-425-3131

10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60603

211 Landmark Drive, Suite C2, Normal, IL 61761

211 North Broadway, Suite 2200, St. Louis, MO 63102

Facebook Linkedin

Commissioner Appointments and Realignment of Commission Panels; Arbitrator Reassignment

March 2021

On March 19, 2021, Governor Pritzker announced the following appointments to the Commission. The following biographies come from the Governor's press release.

Deborah Baker will serve on the Workers' Compensation Commission as a Labor Commissioner. Baker was previously Assistant Deputy Chief Legal Counsel and Ethics Officer at the Illinois Department of Corrections. Prior, she was Litigation Counsel and Compliance Counsel at UpRight Law and served as Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. Baker earned her bachelor's from the University of New Mexico and Master of Arts and Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago.

Barbara Flores will continue to serve on the Workers' Compensation Commission as a Public CommissionerFlores was previously an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. Prior, she was Corporate Counsel at Alden Management Services, Inc., and served as Final Agency Decision Writer at U.S. Postal Service, National Equal Employment Opportunity Investigative Services Office. She has extensive legal experience as a Law Clerk and is actively involved in scholarship and professional organizations. Flores earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Christopher Harris will serve on the Workers' Compensation Commission as an Employer Commissioner. Harris was previously an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. Prior, he was Owner and Managing Attorney at Shield Law Firm LLC. Harris has additional legal experience as general counsel. Harris earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law.

Stephen Mathis will continue to serve on the Workers' Compensation Commission as a Public Commissioner. Mathis was previously an Arbitrator at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. Prior, he served as Legal Counsel and Staff Analyst at the Illinois State Senate. Mathis earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida and Juris Doctor from UIC John Marshall Law School.

Deborah Simpson will continue to serve on the Workers' Compensation Commission as an Employer CommissionerSimpson was previously Assistant State's Attorney at Office of the Kane County State's Attorney. Prior she was First Assistant State's Attorney at Office of the Vermillion County State's Attorney. Simpson earned a Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University and Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School.

Thomas Tyrrell will continue to serve on the Workers' Compensation Commission as a Labor Commissioner. Tyrrell was previously Trial Attorney at Thomas J. Tyrrell, LTD. Prior, Tyrrell was Partner and Attorney at Tyrrell & Boylan. Tyrell also served as Assistant Public Defender at Cook County Public Defender's Office. Tyrrell earned an undergraduate degree from Lewis University and Juris Doctor from Chicago Kent College of Law.

Elizabeth Coppolleti, an employer commissioner was not reappointed.

Because of the appointment and re-appointment process, on March 23, 2021, Chairman Michael J. Brennan announced the realignment of the panels of the Commission:

Panel A:

Public Member: Maria Portela

Labor Member: Thomas Tyrrell

Employer Member: Katherine Doerries

Panel B:

Public Member: Stephen Mathis

Labor Member: Deborah Baker

Employer Member: Deborah Simpson

Panel C:

Public Member: Barbara Flores

Labor Member: Marc Parker

Employer Member: Christopher Harris

Commissioner Baker will take over the Chicago and Waukegan Calls that were previously assigned to former Commissioner Coppoletti.

Commissioner Christopher Harris will take over the Springfield and Chicago Calls that were assigned to former Commissioner McCarthy.

All matters previously assigned to Commissioner Coppoletti will now be assigned to Commissioner Baker; all matters previously assigned to Commissioner McCarthy will now be assigned to Commissioner Harris.

Chairman Brennan also announced that the re-setting of any cases that are currently pending Oral Argument will occur as expeditiously as possible. If a new Oral Argument date is not tendered in the next 5 days, the matter will remain on the Oral Argument call, as scheduled.

Arbitrator Raychel Wesleyhas taken over the Arbitration Call of former Arbitrator, and now Commissioner Deborah Baker.

Prior to her appointment as Arbitrator, Ms. Wesley served as the Domestic Violence Staff Attorney at Prairie State Legal Services where she covered issues such as orders of protection and civil no-contact. Previously, she was an attorney at a variety of law firms in Illinois. Arbitrator Wesley is a founding member of the Black Bar Association of Will County and is active in giving back to her community. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Education from DePaul University, her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law, and a certification in Paralegal Studies from Roosevelt University.

The attorneys of Brady, Connolly & Masuda, P.C. look forward to appearing before these newly appointed Commissioners and reassigned Arbitrator Wesley and representing the interests of our clients.

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association
  • IRTB
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Illinois Self-Insurers' Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association
  • IRTB
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Illinois Self-Insurers' Association
10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312-425-3131
211 Landmark Drive, Suite C2
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-862-4914
One Metropolitan Square
211 North Broadway, Suite 2200
St. Louis, MO 63102
Phone: 314-300-0527
Back to Top