Calhoun Judge Burch Moved to Adams County to Help With Criminal Docket After Adrian Ouster

By Benjamin Cox on February 28, 2024 at 8:36am

The Chief Judge of the 8th Judicial Circuit is now tasked with filling a vacancy in Adams County after the removal of Robert Adrian from the bench.

Pike County Circuit Judge and Chief Judge of the 8th Circuit J. Frank McCartney announced a tentative resolution yesterday, according to Muddy River News, after the Illinois Courts Commission’s ouster of Adrian on Friday. Calhoun County Circuit Judge Charles H.W. Burch will be moving into Adams County and will work with Adams County Judge Tad Brenner to handle the criminal court docket.

McCartney told Muddy River News that had he had reached out to Burch prior to the I.C.C. ruling to have a plan in place. Burch has been handling the traffic docket in Pike County, but that will now be picked up by McCartney.

Another Eighth Judicial Circuit position remains open as well. Amy Lannerd was assigned to the Illinois Appellate Court’s Fourth District on Dec. 5, 2022, and is expected to pick up a full term in November as she is running unopposed. Lannerd filled the vacancy when Justice John W. Turner decided not to seek retention. Lannerd’s position remains unfilled in Adams County, and McCartney doesn’t expect her replacement to be named until later this year.

McCartney said Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lisa Holder White reached out to him Friday after the announcement of Adrian’s removal to make sure all of the correct procedures are in place for selecting individuals to fill the vacancies. McCartney is currently inquiring whether an election can be held this November or if an appointment will have to be made, with an election in 2026. An announcement is expected sometime later this week.

McCartney also must find a replacement for Adams County Associate Judge Debra Wellborn, who has announced plans to retire this summer from her position in the Eighth Judicial Circuit. McCartney said he believed at least a dozen people applied the last time an associate’s position was open.

The 8th Circuit covers Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Mason, Menard, Pike, and Schuyler counties.