Lake County's former chief judge to retire Friday

  • Diane Winter

    Diane Winter

Updated 1/18/2022 9:04 PM

Lake County Circuit Judge Diane Winter, whose 2-year tenure as the court's chief judge ended earlier this month, will retire from the bench effective Friday, officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

Winter said her 21 years as a judge have flown by.


"I have been blessed to work with so many talented and dedicated people," Winter said. "Serving as a judge is a unique and rewarding experience, and I am proud of the services, programs, and collective legal ability we provide to the citizens of Lake County."

Winter was appointed as judge to the 5th subcircuit of Lake County by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2008, and voters elected to retain her in that position in November 2010. She was appointed to the bench as an associate judge in July 2000.

All but one month of Winter's time as chief judge was served during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"She got us through the pandemic. She kept the courthouse running," said Kasey Morgan, the assistant director of judicial operations for Lake County courts.

Winter's last day as chief judge was Jan. 2. She was succeeded by Mark Levitt, who was elected last summer by the other 14 Lake County circuit court judges to serve as chief judge for a 2-year term.

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Levitt, who was sworn in as a circuit judge on the same day as Winter in 2010, said her service has guided the courts and people of Lake County.

"Her knowledge of the law and her strong leadership, especially through a pandemic, made her a well-respected judge to attorneys and her peers on the bench," Levitt said. "She will be missed. We wish her the best."

No plans were announced Tuesday for who will take Winter's place on the 5th subcircuit, which covers a portion of the county's southwest side.

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