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MADISON COUNTY UPDATE: 46 applicants for the open judge positions
There are five associate judge positions currently open in the Madison County Circuit Court. There are currently 46 applicants for those positions including those judges who were not re-appointed: Duane L. Bailey, Ben L. Beyers II, Donald M. Flack, David Grounds and Elizabeth Levy. Other applicants include John R. Abell, Christopher J.T. Bauer, Rodney D. Caffey, Christopher M. Donohoo, David J. Ezra, Clifton L. Flex, Jennifer L. Hightower, Amy Maher, Heather L. Mueller-Jones, Maureen D. Schuette, Luther W. Simmons, Judy Kay Steele, Kerry T. Taplin, Leslie A. Wood, Roy D. Anderson, Erin L. Beavers, Michael J. Brunton, Jeffery A. Cain, James M. Drazen, Derek L. Filcoff, Janet L. Freeman, Eric D. Jackstadt, Peter J. Maag, Edward T. McCarthy, Marc W. Parker, Amy E. Sholar, Katherine M. Smith, Marleen M. Suarez, Suzanne M. Vogel, Timothy D. Berkley, Ellen R. Burford, John R. Daugherty, David W. Dugan, Anthony R. Jumper, Thomas G. Maag, Andrew J. Miofsky, Allyson M. Romani, Darren (Keith) Short, Sarah D. Smith, Kelly C. Sullivan and Mary Beth Williams.
Please note that while many of the applicants are sole practitioners and former states attorneys and public defenders, many are currently prosecuting or defending on behalf of firms involved in asbestos litigation. Specifically, there are asbestos plaintiff attorneys Eric Jackstadt (Napoli Bern firm), Erin Beavers (Gori Julian), Allyson Romani (Shrader Law Firm), Jennifer L. Hightower and John (Jack) Daugherty (Simmons firm), Marc. W. Parker (Lakin Chapman) and Darren Keith Short (formerly of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli, Rowland and Short). Even more interesting, it appears the sons (or relatives) of Democrat Gordon Maag (who you may recall lost the hotly contested election to the open Illinois Sup. Ct. seat to Republican Lloyd Karmeier), Thomas G. Maag and Peter J. Maag are also on the list of applicants. On the other side, there is at least one applicant who comes from a charitable organization, i.e. Amy Maher who currently works for Catholic Charities. There are a couple attorneys who hail from asbestos defense firms such as Heather Mueller-Jones (Knapp Ohl & Green) and Jeffrey Cain (Freeark Harvey).
Within 14 days, the ballot must be comprised from this list of applicants. Those who receive at least five votes from the nine circuit judges will be selected to fill those positions. If five applicants are not chosen, there will be a run-off vote to make the final decision. We will keep you advised of the outcome.