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Flack returning as judge, Schuette, Simmons also named


From Illinois Business Journal news services

EDWARDSVILLE – After a voting process that took most of the summer, Chief Judge David A. Hylla announced Friday that Donald M. Flack, Maureen D. Schuette and Luther W. Simmons have been elected to fill the final associate judge vacancies in the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court.

For Flack, it will be a return to the bench. He was ousted in June when circuit judges failed to retain him, along with four other associate judges, none of whom are returning. Since that time, Flack reapplied for his post, along with 45 others. It took two more votes of the judges for Flack to gain the necessary majority.

The number was culled from 46 candidates, down to 11. At that point, attorneys Jennifer Hightower and Sarah Smith had enough votes to be elected, and there were four candidates left for yet another runoff.

Flack, Schuette and Simmons got the necessary votes, but the fourth finalist, former Associate Judge Ben L. Beyers II, didn’t make the cut. Beyers was among the group ousted in June, along with Elizabeth Levy, David Grounds and Duane Bailey – and Flack.

“These three candidates (announced Friday) bring a great deal of experience and professionalism to our bench. They will be fine additions and allow our courts to be even more responsive to the needs of the people of Madison and Bond counties.
I truly look forward to working with all of them,” Hylla said.

Flack will begin working on Sept. 8. Schuette and Simmons will begin their terms in early October at the end of the temporary terms of Circuit Judge Lola Maddox and Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn.

Hylla said, “I deeply appreciate the willingness of Judge Maddox and Judge Mendelsohn to come out of retirement, step in and be the team players they have always been. Their service allowed the courts to keep running this summer with minimal disruption during the process of filling these five vacancies.”

Winning seats in the earlier votings were Jennifer Hightower and Sarah Smith.

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