Management Team

Esther Franco-Payne, Executive Director
Shyrlden Carmichael, Deputy Executive Director
Beth Johnson, Director, Legal Programs
Leticia Padilla, Senior Accountant
Victoria Spires, Operations Manager
Andrya Soprych, Client Support Services Manager

CGLA is proud to employ a diverse, caring staff committed to serving each client with professionalism and dignity.

Darryl Apperton, Staff Attorney, Family Law
Janet Brukner, Receptionist
Nicole Carrion, Staff Attorney, CLAIM
Mackensey Carter, Social Worker
Cynthia Cornelius, Assistant Director, Legal Programs
Nikki Donnelly, Fellow, Criminal Records
Aisha Edwards, Supervising Attorney, Criminal Defense
James Hill, Leadership Council Coordinator
Breanna Kantor, Staff Attorney, Criminal Defense
Courtney Kelledes, Lead Attorney, Collaborative Partnerships
Eve Kleinerman, Staff Attorney, Criminal Records
Alexis Mansfield, Supervising Attorney, CLAIM
Doyle Moeller, Northwestern Fellow, Criminal Defense
Ryann Moran, Staff Attorney, Housing Law
Colette Payne, Visible Voices Coordinator
Alex Roffman, Equal Justice Works Fellow, CLAIM
Tyla Rucks, Americorps Fellow
Arran Schultz, Intake Specialist, Avodah Fellow
Natisha Spencer, Development Associate
Kate Winner, Senior Attorney


Esther Franco-Payne, Executive Director
Esther comes to CGLA from The Illinois Justice Project, a civic/advocacy organization focused on advancing criminal justice reform. Esther brings to CGLA proven skills for creating change and providing opportunities to the underserved. Specifically, she has a personal passion and dedication that aligns with CGLA’s core purpose and mission of answering God’s call to seek justice and mercy for those living in poverty by providing legal services that strengthen lives, families and communities.

Esther is a social worker by training, with over fifteen years of experience, in the field of violence prevention and criminal justice advocacy. Franco-Payne has a master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

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Beth Johnson, Director, Legal Programs
Beth Johnson has been an attorney with Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) since 2005 and currently serves as the Director of Legal Programs. She has represented hundreds of clients during her time at CGLA in all areas related to criminal records, including expungement and sealing, clemency petitions, waivers and certificates, discrimination claims under the Illinois Human Rights Act and administrative proceedings. She has worked successfully with other advocacy groups to improve systems changes in the courts, policies of employers and governmental agencies and expansions and clarifications to criminal records laws in the Illinois General Assembly. She is actively engaged in community and employer outreach and education, partnering with organizations throughout the Chicagoland area to help change society’s views on those impacted by the criminal justice system. Through the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, she provides trainings on criminal records related issues and authored an article on Expungement and Sealing (“Expungement and Sealing: A Lawyer’s Guide).

She has been recognized for her public interest work, receiving Loan Repayment Assistance Awards through the Chicago Bar Foundation Sun-Times Fellowship and DePaul University’s Center for Public Interest Law. She was one of the 2010 recipients of the Safer Foundation’s Visionary Award and was recognized by the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court as one of the 2011 Outstanding Women in Non-Profits. Most recently, she was selected as a 2014 Chicago Community Trust Emerging Leader fellow, which focuses on growth in criminal justice advocacy and policy work. She is a 2005 graduate of DePaul University’s College of Law, receiving a Certificate in Public Interest Law.

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