Two new judges chosen for Kane Co.

Updated 12/17/2010 6:13 PM

The Kane County Public Defender and a Geneva attorney will become the two new associate judges in the 16th Judicial Circuit.

David P. Kliment, the county's public defender, and Mark A. Pheanis, were elected to the bench by a vote of circuit court judges this week.


Kliment, who earned his undergraduate degree in 1981 from Illinois State University and his juris doctor in 1984 from Northern Illinois University, said the judgeship was an "awesome responsibility, but one I'm looking forward to."

"The judges, they placed their trust in me 16 years ago (making me the public defender) and they're doing it again," said Kliment, 51, of St. Charles. "I just hope to prove to them they made the right choice."

Pheanis, 56, of Geneva, practices with the firm Chilton, Yambert & Porter in Geneva. He was valedictorian at DeKalb High School, earned his undergraduate degree in 1977 from Dartmouth College and his juris doctor in 1981 from Drake University.

Nearly 50 attorneys applied for the two positions, which opened because Associate Judges Kevin Busch and Karen Simpson ran unopposed Nov. 2 for other judge positions.

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The field was whittled to four people a few weeks ago, with Divya K. Sarang, a Kane County assistant state's attorney, and Yorkville lawyer John F. McAdams being the other two finalists.

The new judges are expected to be sworn in next week, with a larger ceremony planned for January.

The next step is for the elected circuit judges to vote on a new Kane County Public Defender.

Doug Naughton, the 16th Circuit's court administrator, said applications likely will be accepted through the end of January.