The Madison County Record Jun. 11, 2015, 6:17pm


The Illinois Supreme Court announced on Thursday that Laninya Cason was not reappointed to another four-year term as a St. Clair County associate judge.

She was one of eight associate judges in the state – and the only associate judge in St. Clair County – who filed requests for reappointment but were not retained.

The announcement came from Director Michael J. Tardy of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. A total of 376 of the 384 Illinois associate judges who filed requests for reappointment have been retained. The new term of office for the retained associate judges will begin on July 1 and will run until June 30, 2019.

Cason was also the only associate judge seeking reappointment in Madison and St. Clair counties who scored well below the minimum threshold of 65 in a judicial evaluation poll conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA). Cason received a score of 45.83.

Cason, who has served as associate judge since 2003, has fallen in and out of favor with the local bar through the years.

When she was evaluated in 2007 prior to her first reappointment, she was not recommended, having received a 62.2 rating.

In 2011, at her second reappointment, she was recommended with a 71.58 rating.

In 2012, Cason sought a full circuit court seat. However, she had a falling out with Democrat party leaders and switched political affiliation from Democrat to Republican. In the ISBA poll preceding that election, in which Cason ran against and lost to Democrat Zina Cruse, Cason was not recommended with a 41.20 rating.

Results of the poll, which also evaluate integrity, impartiality, legal ability, temperament, court management, health and sensitivity, were posted on the ISBA site on May 19.

The remaining 12 associate judges in the 20th Judicial Circuit were retained and each scored well above the minimum threshold in the ISBA judicial evaluation poll. Their scores are:

Richard Aguirre: 84.91

Walter Brandon: 86.82

Thomas Cannady: 96.71

Ellen Dauber: 90.63

Julia Gomric: 97.42

Eugene Gross: 99.15

Julie Katz: 98.92

Randall Kelley: 92.47

Patricia Kievlan: 91.60

Christopher Kolker: 98.92

Stephen Rice: 97.25

Heinz Rudolf: 95.91

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Springfield, IL 62701

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