Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BREAKING -- 13 new Associate Judges are named in Cook County

Twelve of them were on the "short list."

There is, as yet, no confirmation from the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts of the identities of the 13 new Cook County Associate Judges but a list provided to FWIW earlier today has been subsequently confirmed by Scott Cisek, Executive Director of the Cook County Democratic Party (Mr. Cisek was not willing to go on the record as to how he confirmed the list, but he expressed a high degree of confidence in the list's accuracy).

Therefore, congratulations to the apparent winners:
  • Judge Gregory Emmett Ahern, Jr.,
  • Shauna L. Boliker,
  • Karen J. Bowes,
  • Matthew James Carmody,
  • James Robert Carroll,
  • Melissa Ann Durkin,
  • Michael James Hood,
  • Kevin Thomas Lee,
  • Alfredo Maldonado,
  • Judge Michael Francis Otto,
  • Linda Johanna Pauel,
  • Steven Jay Rosenblum, and
  • Judge Peter J. Vilkelis.
Did you notice yet?

Only two currently sitting judges, Judge Ahern and Judge Otto, made the short list promulgated by the Circuit Court Nominating Committee. But three -- Ahern, Otto, and Judge Peter J. Vilkelis -- were apparently selected by their colleagues on the bench.

In other words, Judge Vilkelis apparently won as a "write in" candidate.

Now, as noted, I've reached out to the AOIC for confirmation here and also to Judge Vilkelis and I'm awaiting confirmation and comment and I'll amend this post or add a new one as necessary, but that's where matters stand at the moment.

UPDATE: It's official now; the press release has been posted.


bem613 said...

Judge Vikelis is an excellent judge. I'm impressed that he ran as a write in. If it's upheld as legal, it won't be the last time!

Jack Leyhane said...

bem613 -- There are 250 disappointed AJ applicants who will, sometime this afternoon, for a fleeting moment at least, slap themselves on the forehead and wonder why they weren't smart enough to think of the write-in strategy. I know the thought flickered briefly in my own pea brain. But the moment had better pass quickly and the notion be forgotten forever. There are two reasons.

You named one: Judge Vilkelis is obviously held in high esteem by his colleagues, with whom he has been working (as an appointed judge) for a number of years, so his case was exceptional. What a tremendous honor this is for him.

In addition, the typical Cook County "short list" is usually pretty long to begin with. Judges won't appreciate extra hopefuls wandering around bearing extra résumés and anybody foolish enough to think otherwise is likely to receive a very frosty reception.

So I think this is a great story -- but not the beginning of a trend.

bem613 said...


This is Bruce Mosbacher btw... You are probably right but appointed judges in Judge Vilkelis's position are often left off the short list. They will certainly run in the future...no?

Anonymous said...

There is no question that the write in is legal. The ballot given the voting judges has a designated area provided for write in's. This will be happening again. Judges are no longer pleased with the politically correct "diversity" choices of the committee which resemble the Noah's Ark boarding list of two each from every gender, ethnic, etc. Rather those appointed judges who have shown themselves to be exceptional should get the nod.

Ramon Ocasio III said...

The task of the Timothy C. Evans' nominating committee was difficult. They have to ensure that the judiciary is open and accessible to a broad and diverse array of individuals, including individuals of all races and ethnicities. Promoting equal opportunities for all individuals without regard to race, sex, or ethnicity is a legitimate goal. The candidates selected by the nominating committee were vetted by all the Bar Associations and found qualified and recommended. Anonymous declarations suggesting otherwise is a disservice to a dialogue on how to increase the prestige of the judiciary.