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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Office sought: 18th Circuit (Thompson vacancy)
Family: Not married. Three children and five grandchildren. Both of my parents are living in Lisle. My two brothers and my two sisters also are living, three of them in the Chicago area. One of my brothers lives in Peoria.
Occupation: Associate Judge
Education: Fenwick High School 1964 Loyola University Chicago - B.S. 1968 Loyola University Chicago School of Law - J.D. Cum Laude 1972
Civic involvement: Sacred Heart Parish in Lombard - on parish council in the mid-1970's, officer in the Holy Name Society in the 70's and early 80's. Chairman of Sacred Heart German Fest in the 70's. Served on the board and as president of the Kline Creek Farm Cultivators in the 80's and on the Forest Preserve District 75th Anniversary Committee. On the board and president of the First Folio Theatre Co. from 1996 to the present.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
The responsibility of serving as a circuit court judge is best placed in the hands of one who has demonstrated by his or her service through the years the experience, knowledge and wisdom to fulfill the office.
Key Issue 2
My approach to fulfilling my judicial duties is my commitment to the rule of law and my expectation that the persons in the courtroom over which I am presiding understand that we must all meet our personal responsibilities -- whether to society, to each other, to our children or to the litigants before me.
Key Issue 3
Personal integrity and commitment to excellence.
Do you favor the appointment of judges or do you prefer the election process' Please explain your answer.
Our current system is a blend of both -- allowing the elected judges to appoint associate judges. I do not believe either the appointment or the election of judges is perfect, but that our system has resulted in an excellent judiciary in DuPage County.
If I had the power to change one thing, I would provide for the election of judges at
the elections in April.
It would allow the electorate a better opportunity to examine the qualifications of the candidates and be more informed in their vote.
I believe the election of judges insures the accountability of judges to the people and helps prevent the impression that the judiciary is elitist and detached from the community.
What special qualifications or experiences make you the best person to serve as a judge?
I have served over 12 years on the bench, after 27 years in private practice.
In private practice, I had a very diversified practice, primarily representing private individuals in all legal problems - real estate, probate, divorce, personal injury, criminal, small businesses and corporations.
I was the Glen Ellyn village prosecutor for over 15 years and was active in both the state and local bar associations.
I believe my experience in private practice and professional involvement provided me with a solid foundation to serve as a judge.
I believe my performance over the last twelve years has demonstrated my command of the position and my ability to perform the duties of Circuit Judge.
What are your thoughts on mandatory sentencing? Do you believe judges should have greater leeway when it comes to sentencing defendants' Why or why not?
I have not had a great deal of experience with mandatory sentencing.
However, the experience I have had leads me to believe it is not the best approach to punishment of criminal behavior.
In practice, it can lead to plea bargains in which the state amends the charge to a lesser offense and the defendant pleads guilty for a lesser punishment.
While that may be the best outcome in some instances, the "threat" of a mandatory sentence that seems inappropriate for a particular defendant results is an outcome which "skews" the system.
This can add to the public's sense that the criminal justice system is a "market place" in which money and influence can trump justice. We should have the confidence in our judges to impose sentences that are appropriate to the crime, the defendant's conduct, the defendant's background and the safety of the victim and society.
What are your thoughts on the use of drug courts, domestic violence courts, veterans courts, mental health courts and prostitution courts' Have they been effective?
In my experience, when properly administered, both drug courts and domestic violence courts can be effective tools in addressing particular problems in society and with particular individuals.
I am not certain that the other examples given have proven to be successful.
The resources of the system are stretched as it is, and unless it can be proven that the use of a specialized court is successful in solving a real problem which can not be addressed by another agency or government program, the courts should not be used as a social service agency.
Do you support eliminating the ban on cameras and recording devices in Illinois courtrooms' Why or why not?
I an not opposed to cameras or recording devices as a mater of principle, but the possible consequences.
It is too easy to have things taken out of context.
Additionally, I think the use of cameras can influence a witnesses' conduct before the court. This is, of course, merely my supposition and not based on experience.
would not be opposed to a "pilot " program which might be allowed to see what problems, if any, are encountered in reality and how they might be solved.