Metro-East News

Retired judge from St. Clair County heading back to the bench

Retired Circuit Court Judge Milton Wharton is headed back to the bench.

Wharton has been assigned to fill a vacancy on the Fifth District Appellate Court. He is scheduled to start work on Nov. 1 of this year. The term is scheduled to end on Dec. 7, 2020.

“Throughout his career, Judge Wharton has been extremely active with the organized bar and in his community. It is difficult to capture the depth of his experience and the breadth of his accomplishments in a few short sentences,” said Illinois Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier in a news release.

Wharton replaces Appellate Judge Melissa Chapman who is retiring in October.

Wharton served in the 20th Judicial Circuit, first as an associate judge from 1976 to 1988 and then as a circuit judge until his retirement in 2012.

Among the cases Wharton presided over was the Chris Coleman murder trial in 2011.

The Fifth Judicial District is composed of 37 counties in southern Illinois, including: Alexander, Bond, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, Shelby, St. Clair, Wabash, Wayne, Washington, White, Williamson, and Union.

Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.