On Monday, April 22, 2024, My Journal Courier reported that a screening committee had begun evaluating candidates to fill a judicial vacancy in Illinois’s Eighth Judicial Circuit.

The opening on the bench was created after Judge Robert Adrian was removed from his post by the Illinois Courts Commission in February. Judge Adrian’s removal followed the controversial overturning of the conviction of a man found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. Court transcripts showed Judge Adrian criticized those involved in the incident before determining the man’s 148 days in jail was sufficient punishment.

Now, a committee of lawyers and non-lawyers will assess applicants for the circuit judge position. The Eighth Circuit covers eight counties in central Illinois including Adams, Brown, Cass, Pike, and Schuyler. The committee will review applicant qualifications, solicit and consider public comments, and report their findings to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The screening committee is composed of six non-lawyers – Nicole Kopec, Lee Lindsay, Stacey Juilfs, Eric Sieck, retired judges Diane Lagoski and Scott Butler. Attorney Hal Oakley also serves on the panel. They will vet eight applicants – Timothy A. Bass, Gabriel T. Grosboll, Jonathan S. Hoover, Joshual L. Jones, Andrew O. Mays, Christopher W.B. Pratt, Casey J. Schnack, and Jennifer A. Winking.

Members of the public can provide written input about candidates to the committee by email or mail until May 1st. Comments should be sent to the Adams County Courthouse and anonymous letters will not be accepted. Ultimately, the Illinois Supreme Court will select someone to fill the vacancy. The appointed judge will serve until a replacement is selected in the November 2026 general election.



Source: My Journal Courier