On Monday, March 25, 2024, Muddy River News reported that the Illinois Supreme Court had started the application process for an at-large circuit judge vacancy in the Eighth Judicial Circuit resulting from the removal of Judge Robert Adrian.

Adrian was removed from his position by the Illinois Courts Commission on February 23rd after it was found that he gave untruthful testimony before the Judicial Inquiry Board explaining his reasons for reversing a ruling where he found Drew Clinton guilty of felony criminal sexual assault. The commission determined Adrian’s conduct was “unbecoming of a judicial officer” when he removed Adams County Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones from the courtroom on January 12th, 2022.

The Judicial Inquiry Board presented evidence that Adrian committed “willful misconduct” during the two-day hearing in November. As a result, the seven-member commission ordered his removal from office.

The vacancy created by Adrian’s removal must now be filled through the Supreme Court’s appointment process, with applicants evaluated and screened before final approval by the Court. Lawyers licensed to practice in Illinois have until April 12th to apply for the at-large judgeship position. The selected applicant will serve the remainder of Adrian’s term, through the first Monday of December in 2026 following that year’s general election.

In the meantime, Judge Charles H.W. Burch of Hardin has been assisting Judge Tad Brenner in handling Adrian’s previous criminal court docket in Adams County. Another vacancy also remains in the Eighth Judicial Circuit, left by Amy Lannerd’s appointment to the Illinois Appellate Court last December. Chief Judge Frank McCartney expects that position may be filled later this year. McCartney will also have to replace Judge Debra Wellborn, who is planning to retire this summer from her associate judge role in the Circuit.



Source: Muddy River News