St. Clair County Circuit Judge Ron Duebbert has been re-assigned to administrative duties due to his involvement with a registered violent offender who is now a "person of interest" in a Belleville murder investigation, according to Chief Judge Andrew Gleeson who entered the re-assignment order today.
The person that matches the description in Gleeson's order is David E. Fields, 20, who upon release from prison on parole Oct. 24 lived with Duebbert at his home on Powdermill Road in Belleville until Dec. 2.
Duebbert, a Republican, was elected in November, having defeated Democrat John Baricevic, former chief judge, in a bruising campaign. Duebbert was sworn into office on Dec. 5.
Upon his release from prison, Fields was required to register as a violent offender with an Illinois State Police registry. He was convicted for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman who was 17 at the time of crime, as was Fields.
On Friday, the Major Case Squad was called to investigate the fatal shooting of Carl Z. Silas, 28, at an apartment on West Boulevard in Belleville.
Fields was jailed later on Friday and continues to be held on a parole violation charge at the St. Clair County jail.
"An issue has arisen that leads the Court to act with caution and deliberation," Gleeson wrote.
Gleeson's order indicates re-assignment will be effective until issues "are understood and resolved to the Court's satisfaction."
"The Court is acting thusly to ensure the safety of the general public, its right to a fair and impartial jurist, and to protect the integrity of the Court," the order states.
Duebbert has been contacted for comment, but had not returned a phone call as of Tuesday afternoon.