While Madison County circuit judges denied retention to five associate judges, circuit judges in all other Illinois counties denied it to only three.
The gap between Madison County’s 62 percent retention rate and 99 percent elsewhere illustrates the force of the judicial earthquake in Madison County.
Associate judges Duane Bailey, Ben Beyers, Donald Flack, David Grounds and Elizabeth Levy all failed to win three fifths of the votes of circuit judges.
Eight Madison County associate judges achieved retention.
Circuit judges in other counties retained 368 associate judges and rejected three.
Bailey, Beyers, Flack, Grounds and Levy need not despair, for they can apply to fill their own vacancies.
Circuit judges fill vacancies by simple majority, not three fifths, making it easier to gain a new appointment than to keep an old one.
The Alton chapter of the national group One Hundred Black Men suspects that Madison County judges intend to bring back judges they didn’t retain.
The group claims the circuit judges rejected five associate judges as a smoke screen to get rid of Beyers and Bailey.
Chief Judge David Hylla did not respond to a request for a comment on a letter the group sent him about Beyers and Bailey.
Illinois Supreme Court spokesman Joe Tybor said Supreme Court rule 39 covers appointment and retention of associate judges.
He said, “I think the rule is silent on reapplying.”
He said that years ago,Third Circuit judges voted against retention of Ellar Duff but approved her application for appointment.