Former Elgin City Councilman John Walters will be returning to city hall next month -- this time with the gavel.
The 58-year-old was unanimously appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to be the 16th Judicial Circuit's newest judge and he will start Oct. 31 handling bond call and traffic court at the Elgin branch, which also is where the city council meets.
Walters, who served 22 years on the city council before losing his seat in the spring 2009 election, said it was an honor to be appointed.
"It's one thing to be an attorney, but it's another to be a judge. It's exciting, but it's also humbling," said Walters, an attorney for 33 years who now must close his Elgin-based practice.
Walters was introduced by 16th Circuit Chief Judge F. Keith Brown on Friday to personnel at the Kane County Judicial Center. Walters will have to run for a six-year seat in November 2012 but first must win the Republican nomination this coming spring.
The new judge seat was authorized by the General Assembly.
"It's a new chapter in my life," Walters said. "All I can promise to do is work hard at it and give thoughtful decisions."