Former Lake County state's attorney appointed as judge

  • Mike Nerheim

    Mike Nerheim

Updated 1/5/2021 5:29 PM

Former Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim, who lost his reelection battle in November, has been appointed as a judge in the 19th Circuit Court.

Nerheim will fill the position left by Circuit Judge Valerie Boettle Ceckowski, whose upcoming retirement after 24 years was announced in the same Tuesday afternoon news release that said Nerheim was to replace her.


Nerheim said he heard Ceckowski was going to retire about two weeks ago as he was exploring what he would do next and decided to submit an application.

"Definitely the timing was really good," Nerheim said. "And the fact that a position opened up in the subcircuit I live in."

Nerheim said he had been considering going into private practice or pursuing positions in the corporate or nonprofit worlds.

"My goal was to find a role where I could continue to serve people," Nerheim said. "This is the perfect opportunity because it allows me a chance to do just that."

Nerheim, who was first elected Lake County state's attorney in 2012, lost his bid for a third term to Democrat Eric Rinehart in November.

Ceckowski presided in juvenile court, but that does not mean that Nerheim will as well. He said he doesn't know yet where he'll be assigned.

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Nerheim said he was humbled to follow Ceckowski and wished her the best in retirement. He said he had the opportunity to practice law in her courtroom when he was an assistant state's attorney in the juvenile division.

"She's a great judge," he said. "I've got enormous shoes to fill."

According to the release, Nerheim will replace Ceckowski on Jan. 29 and will serve until Dec. 5, 2022. It will be up to the voters to decide if he is to continue as a judge after that point.

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