Retirement shouldn’t put much financial strain on Madison County Circuit Judge Phillip Kardis. In addition to his $103,226.40 pension, he can depend on income as landlord of 48 apartments.
For 17 years, Kardis has owned the Diplomat Apartments on Kent Street in East Alton. According to county tax records, the property has a fair market value of $1,084,800.
That works out to exactly $22,600 per apartment.
Kardis also owns two single family houses in Alton, one in Godfrey, and a commercial property in Alton. Together, those properties have a fair market value of $310,030.
The Diplomat Apartments reflect well on their owner. Kardis apparently takes good care of the 12 two-story brick structures in the complex.
Ten of the buildings stand in five pairs, with eight units in each pair. High wooden ceilings connect each pair, creating dense shade in common areas.
Two buildings in the middle contain townhouses. The buildings face each other but do not connect. The townhouses tenants have carports. Everyone else parks on Kent Street.
The complex has a pool.
Three Chicago men owned the property until 1977. They sold it to Kardis, his wife Sharon, Dale Neudecker and Patricia Neudecker. The Kardises owned 75 percent of the property and the Neudeckers owned 25 percent.
The new owners financed the property with a $480,000 mortgage at Home Savings and Loan Association of Alton.
In 1979, Sharon Kardis signed her ownership over to her husband.
In 1988, Dale Neducker signed his ownership over to Kardis.
Kardis owns a home at 2721 Walnut Street in Alton, near the former Shurtleff College. With a freshly painted exterior and a stone foundation, it beautifies the neighborhood.
The property has a fair market value of $91,390.
Kardis has a Democratic tenant there. A Kerry Edwards sign sits in a front window. A Kerry bumper sticker adorns the mailbox.
Kardis owns a big old house on a hill at 2623 Humbert Street in Alton. It needs paint, but a stone porch, six big trees and lots of house plants lend charm to the property.
The property has a fair market value of $61,100.
He also owns a home at 2720 Gerson Avenue in Godfrey, on a corner at Homer Adams Parkway. The mailbox says, “Kardis.”
The lovely little brick home has a terra cotta roof, but two untamed pines hide the home’s best features.
The property has a fair market value of $55,450.
In downtown Alton, Kardis owns an old brick building at 224 and 226 East Broadway. A sign in 226 announces CA Licensing, for car, truck, boat and gun licenses. The 224 side appears vacant.
The property includes a parking lot to the west, big enough for 20 cars.
The property has a fair market value of $102,090.
On April 25, Kardis transferred titles of all five properties to himself as trustee under a self declaration of trust from 1989. The declaration is not on file at the courthouse.
Kardis served 16 and a half years as a judge. According to a State Retirement System formula, that qualifies him for 67.5 percent of his final salary.
A retirement system employee said judges' salaries are published and that the Supreme Court would have Kardis's salary.
At the Supreme Court's administrative office, a receptionist relayed a request for his salary over a phone. After hearing back, she said it was public information but the office not obligated to give it out. She said the state comptroller would have it.
The comptroller's office reported that Kardis as a sitting judge earns $12,744 a month, or $152,928 a year.