'No-brainer': Judge volunteers to submit to drug tests

News-DemocratNovember 25, 2013 

St. Clair County Associate Judge Heinz Rudolf announced Monday that he would run for a circuit judge.

And as part of his candidacy, he would submit to a drug test -- voluntarily.

In his press release announcing his candidacy, Rudolf said that he already submitted voluntarily to drug testing on July 16 and Oct. 25. The results were negative both times.

"I think it's the right thing to do," Rudolf said. "For me, it's a no-brainer."

Rudolf will make his voluntary drug test results available to media outlets upon request, the press release stated.

Rudolf said that he signed up to participate in random drug testing with other St. Clair County elected officials.

"Random drug tests are more reliable indicators," Rudolf said.

Steve McGlynn, Rudolf's Republican opponent, has advocated for drug testing for associate judges as a campaign issue. McGlynn also submitted to voluntary drug testing.

Earlier this month, the Belleville News-Democrat polled the 20th Judicial Circuit Judges. The informal poll found that nine of 13 judges favored testing, including Chief Judge John Baricevic. Three judges declined to comment, and one was against mandatory testing.

McGlynn could not be reached for comment Monday.

The circuit judge position is open after the arrest of Mike Cook. Cook resigned his seat on the bench after he was charged with heroin and gun possession. Cook is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Rudolf was appointed as an associate judge eight years ago. Prior to taking the bench, Rudolf practiced law with Becker, Paulson, Hoerner and Thompson. Also, Rudolf served as assistant state's attorney and assistant public defender in St. Clair County.

Besides his law degree, Rudolf has a master's degree and Ph.D. in public policy analysis and administration from St. Louis University.

Rudolf served as Belleville and Stookey Township representative on the County Board from 2002-006.

Rudolf lives in Belleville with his wife and two daughters. He is a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and serves on the board of the Children First Foundation.

"I'm running on my experience," Rudolf said. "I feel like I am the most qualified candidate."

In Madison County, Associate Judge Clarence Harrison announced he would seek to fill former Chief Judge Ann Callis' seat. Callis is seeking the Democratic nomination for Illinois 13th Congressional District.

Harrison could not be reached for comment Monday.

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