Embattled Eighth Circuit Judge Projected to be Retained

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 9, 2022 at 3:18pm

An area circuit judge who stirred national controversy earlier this year seems likely to keep his seat on the bench.

According to a report by KHQA News in Quincy, Eighth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Robert Adrian appears to have squeaked by in retaining his seat in Tuesday’s election.

Unofficial results tabulated by the news outlet show Adrian won by wide margins in all eight counties in the Eighth Circuit which includes Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Mason, Menard, Pike, and Schuyler Counties.

Illinois Circuit Judges must receive at least 60% favorable vote in order to be retained on the bench, and unofficial totals have Adrian pulling 61.8% yes votes, with 38.2% votes against retention.

In total, 29,042 voters approved of retention vs. 17,918 voting no. Adrian was removed from criminal cases in Adams County in the Eighth Judicial Circuit in January by Chief Judge of the 8th Circuit J. Frank McCartney after the fallout of Adrian’s decision to reverse the conviction of 18-year-old Drew S. Clinton for criminal sexual assault in October of last year.

The overturn of the conviction drew international scrutiny and local protests calling for Adrian to be removed from the bench.

In September the Illinois State Bar Association did not recommend Adrian be retained, receiving a score of 29.5% of residents saying he should be retained in the association’s election-year advisory poll.

Adrian told KHQA immediately following the announcement that the poll was “meaningless” and was “only used to attack certain judges.”