Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court announced Friday the formation of a judicial screening committee to help fill a vacancy for the Woodford County resident judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
The Circuit Court vacancy was created by the announced retirement of Judge John B. Huschen, effective March 31, 2014. Chief Justice Garman announced an application process for the vacancy on January 15. The only applicant is Associate Judge Charles M. Feeney of El Paso.
The committee will examine Judge Feeney's credentials for the Circuit Court position, seek public comment and interview the candidate. It will report its findings to Chief Justice Garman, and the Chief Justice will make a recommendation to the full Supreme Court. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court is the sole appointing authority to fill interim judicial vacancies in the Illinois courts.
The appointee will serve until December 5, 2016, when the position will be filled by the 2016 General Election.
The screening committee consists of seven persons who reside in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. Four of the committee members are non-lawyers and three are lawyers.
The non-lawyer members of the committee are Eureka residents Randy Crump and Matt Smith, El Paso resident Linda Haas and Roanoke resident Robert Knepp.
The lawyer members of the committee are Guy Fraker of Bloomington, Ned Leiken of Minonk and James Stoller of El Paso.
Guy Fraker will serve as chairperson of the committee.