11th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Kevin Fitzgerald based in McLean County says he'll retire sooner than originally planned.
Fitzgerald pushed up his retirement date from December 2, 2018, to July 6, 2018.
In a written statement, Fitzgerald says changes to the Supreme Court's process in filling vacancies has him looking to do what's best for citizens of the 11th Circuit.
"The Supreme Court has recently announced that, for budgetary reasons, there will be a 30 day delay in filling judicial vacancies. Associate Judge William Yoder will be taking my Circuit Judge seat in this year's election. We will have to fill his Associate Judge position. 2 other Associate Judges have advised me that they will be retiring in early December as well. If I waited until December to retire, that would mean 3 brand new Associate Judges taking the bench at the same time (3 out of 5 Associate Judges), all likely handling volume calls. In addition, the Supreme Court's recent policy would result in the 3 judicial positions being vacant for virtually the same 30-day period. Neither of those situations would serve the citizens and the litigants of the 11th Circuit well." Fitzgerald explained.
The Supreme Court will likely appoint Judge Yoder to Fitzgerald's Circuit position 30 days after his retirement date, and the Circuit Judges could then proceed to fill Yoder's Associate Judge vacancy.
Judge Fitzgerald was appointed as an Associate Judge in April of 2000 and elected as Circuit Judge in 2006. He was elected as Chief Judge in December 2014.
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