A dispute between the owners of a local funeral home chain and their former manager has a new judge to oversee the case.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael O'Malley recused himself from the suit and countersuits filed by Barry Wilson and Robert and Judith Herr, the owners of the Herr funeral homes on May 11.

O'Malley is set to step down from the bench at the end of July.

St. Clair County Chief Judge John Baricevic reassigned the case June 4 to St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto.

Wilson originally sued the Herrs for allegedly firing him without cause.

His suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and the lifting of a non-compete clause that prevents him from working within a certain distance of the Herrs' businesses.

The Herrs filed a countersuit against Wilson alleging that their former manager misused the company's credit cards to charge thousands in personal items including beer and a yoga set.

There had been an attempt by the Herrs to move the suit to neighboring Madison County.

That was dropped earlier this year.

Currently, the Herrs have a move for declaratory judgment pending against Wilson that would require he honor an agreement to sell back his stock in the funeral homes.

Wilson opposes that move.

The Herrs are represented by Brian Kalb, Christopher Byron and Clyde Kuehn.

Wilson is represented by Jill Rembusch.

The case is St. Clair case number 09-L-345.

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