BELLEVILLE – A group called Citizen’s for Honest Judges met in front of the St. Clair County Courthouse today to show their opposition to three local judges trying to circumvent the Illinois State Constitution.
In the frigid weather citizens held signs that read “End the Monkey Court”.
The three Democrat Judges are John Baricevic, Robert Haida and Robert LeChien. Baricevic is the chief judge of St. Clair County.
The backlash against the three judges is being led by Dallas Cook, who is running for St. Clair Circuit Clerk.
The Illinois State Board of Elections will meet Wednesday to decide whether to accept the recommendation of Attorney David Herman of Springfield who served as the hearing officer.
Herman said the state constitution does not bar the judges from retiring at the end of 2016 and running for the bench in the 2016 general election, while currently serving as judges.
How Herman came up with that conclusion, no one really knows given that every sitting judge in Illinois runs for judicial retention. One lone exception to that rule exists.
The only time a judge unethically choose to retire, and then run for election to the same seat in known Illinois history was St. Clair Judge Lloyd Cueto.
The Cueto family name is famous in St. Clair and Southern Illinois for the political power it carried in the Metro East Democratic Party.
The Cueto name was tarnished by the Judge’s brother, millionaire St. Clair lawyer Amiel Cueto who was a Democratic fundraiser with powerful connections before he was convicted and sent to federal prison for protecting an illegal Metro East gambling empire in 1997.
The Metro East is no stranger to odd judicial activity.
Just recently in 2015 the Madison County Circuit Court did not vote to retain five associate judges out of thirteen in what many call a judicial “purge”.
Between St. Clair and Madison Counties, there is only two Republican Circuit Judges. The courts in both counties are overwhelmingly run by Democrat Judges.
In 2015 only eight associate judges in Illinois were not retained out of 376 statewide. Five being from Madison County and one from St. Clair County.
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