Highland News Leader

Bench cleared: 5 Madison County associate judges voted out

In this file photo, Madison County Associate Judge Duane Bailey congratulates a graduate of a juvenile diversion program at the Madison County Courthouse. Bailey is one of five associate judges who has not been retained.
In this file photo, Madison County Associate Judge Duane Bailey congratulates a graduate of a juvenile diversion program at the Madison County Courthouse. Bailey is one of five associate judges who has not been retained. News-Democrat

Five Madison County associate judges will be looking for new jobs come July 1.

The circuit judges who vote on whether to keep associate judges have decided not to return Duane Bailey, Ben Beyers, Donald Flack, David Grounds and Elizabeth Levy to the bench, said Chief Judge David Hylla.

None of the five received the required 60 percent backing from the circuit judges to return to their jobs.

“I was surprised by the outcome,” Hylla said. “I will leave it at that.”

Hylla will request that the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announce the vacancies, then state statute gives 30 days to receive applications. The circuit judges will then have 14 days to cast their ballots for the new associate judges.

“Hopefully, the will vote be sooner rather than later,” Hylla said.

He expects Madison County will run five judges shy for at least the month of July. July and August have the fewest number of jury trials, Hylla said. Circuit judges and the 8 retained associate judges will double-up on dockets until the vacancies are filled.

“Quite frankly, I expect no delays in the handling of cases,” Hylla said. “That’s our goal.”

The 3rd Judicial Circuit, which consists of Madison and Bond counties, has 9 circuit judgeships and 13 associate judgeships.

Circuit judges are elected by voters.

The eight associate judges who received enough votes to be retained are: Philip B. Alfeld, Clarence W. Harrison II, Martin J. Mengarelli, Ronald R. Slemer, Thomas Chapman, Janet Heflin, Neil T. Schroeder and Stephen A. Stobbs.

Circuit judges are elected to six-year terms. Associate judges are appointed to four-year terms.

  Comments