Morgan Co. State’s Attorney wants open judge position

By Gary Scott on May 15, 2015 at 1:35pm

Morgan County State’s Attorney Bobby Bonjean says he’s one of the candidates for a new associate judge position in Sangamon County.

The seat in the Seventh Circuit Court is open after the previous Sangamon County associate judge, April Troemper, was appointed an at-large circuit judge in Macoupin County by the Supreme Court in March, replacing Pat Londrigan.

Bonjean says he previously applied when he was an assistant state’s attorney for the associate judge position in Morgan County that ultimately went to Jeffery Tobin.

“Morgan County is extremely fortunate that they’ve got two excellent judges right now, and unfortunately for me, there are relatively early in their judicial careers, so if I want to become a judge at any time in the near future, I’ll probably have to look outside of Morgan County,” he says.

Bonjean says all along throughout the decade-plus he’s been a prosecutor, he’s always had serious aspirations to become a judge.

“The first six years of my career, I was in private practice. I had experience dealing and representing clients both in criminal and civil matters, and then with my transition over to the state’s attorney’s office, there are several positive aspects, but then there’s also the negative side,” he says.

“You kind of get to see people and only deal with people when they’ve made a bad decision or been at their extreme worst, so being a judge, you kind of sit up there and you’re more of a decision maker in terms of making sure the law is followed, and making sure each side has an equal voice and is able to have their day in court. That’s kind of appealing to me,” Bonjean continues.

Chief Judge Ken Diehl wasn’t immediately available for comment this morning. Bonjean says the deadline to submit applications was May 4th, and it’s believed an announcement will be made soon. Bonjean says a vote will be taken by the circuit judges in the Seventh Circuit.

Bonjean says he fully intends to distribute petitions later this year for his re-election bid for state’s attorney. He served as assistant state’s attorney from 2004 to 2013 before replacing Chris Reif, who took the Morgan County Circuit Judge position from Richard Mitchell, who retired.