MONTICELLO — Nine lawyers, including six based in Monticello and one in Decatur, are being considered to take over the bench of Judge John P. Shonkwiler, who is retiring July 31.
The applicants are Timothy J. Tighe of Decatur; David K. Cox, William H. Finson, John W. Foltz, Dana C. Rhoades, Roger Simpson and Gary A. Webber, all of Monticello; Debra A. Seaton of South Holland and Shig W. Yasunaga of Champaign.
The new judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit will be appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court. The district consists of Macon, DeWitt, Piatt, Champaign, Moultrie and Douglas counties.
The Supreme Court announced Friday that it has formed a screening committee to assess the qualifications of the applicants and make a recommendation, according to Justice Rita B. Garman’s office.
The committee will interview each applicant, gather
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information from the public and assess the candidates’ qualifications. The committee will recommend a candidate to Garman, who will then make her recommendation to the other Supreme Court justices.
The screening committee members, all residents of the sixth circuit, are lawyers William Tracy II of Monticello, Glenn Stanko of Champaign and Frank Lincoln of Tuscola, who is retired; nonlawyers Kelly Finet and Ed Williams of Monticello, Dr. Lawrence Jeckel of Champaign and Dan Mogged of Cerro Gordo.
Jeckel will serve as the committee’s chairman.
Members of the public are invited to submit comments on the applicants to: Kelly Finet, secretary, Sixth Judicial Circuit Screening Committee, Box 17, Monticello, IL 61856.
Comments should be received by 5 p.m. Monday, July 9. All comments will be held in the strictest confidence.
Shonkwiler, 79, chief judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit since 1994 and one of the state’s longest serving judges, recently announced his retirement due to health issues. A lifelong Monticello resident whose courtroom is also in Monticello, Shonkwiler has served on the bench for 47 years.
The applicant who is appointed to replace Shonkwiler will serve the remainder of his six-year term, which expires Dec. 1, 2014. The position will then be filled through the 2014 general election.