Longtime Associate Judge R. Mark Stanley of Carmi has announced his retirement. Chief Judge Tom Tedeschi confirmed Stanley's retirement will be official on July 2. “Judge Stanley has served the Second Judicial Circuit for thirteen years,” Chief Judge Tedeschi said. “Throughout his career, Judge Stanley has always handled things professionally. He has a new grandchild on the way and told me it's time to kick back.” Stanley was sworn in as an associate judge in 2006. In addition to serving as an associate judge, Stanley has spent 24 years in private practice and four years as White County State's Attorney.
As an Associate Judge, Stanley served four year terms which are renewed with a vote of the twelve Resident Circuit Judges and at-large judges within the Second Circuit. Earlier this month, those judges approved another four year term for Judge Stanley.
One of Stanley's many assignments was to serve as the juvenile court judge for Franklin County. “When I asked Mark to take the assignment, he did not hesitate,” Judge Tedeschi said. “The juvenile court system is so very technical having to deal with the Department of Children and Family Services and other social service agencies. Mark never missed a beat.” As juvenile judge in Franklin County, Stanley handled not only abuse and neglect cases but also juvenile delinquency matters involving underage children accused of a crime. The juvenile caseload in Franklin County required Judge Stanley to be in Benton every Monday and every other Friday.
Earlier this year, Associate Judge Stanley was awarded the “Champion of Children” award from the Franklin County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) at the 2019 Voice of Child Spring event held at the Benton Civic Center on March 29. Judge Stanley has been assigned to the juvenile court docket in Franklin County since January of 2014. The award was given to Judge Stanley for his outstanding service and dedication to the children of Franklin County. The Franklin County CASA organization is a non-profit agency which provides trained volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system.
CASA Executive Director Mariah Hayes presented the award to Judge Stanley and commented on his dedicated service as the juvenile court judge in Franklin County. Chief Judge Tedeschi also attended and commented, “Cases of juvenile abuse and neglect are some of the most difficult types of cases that a judge is assigned,” Tedeschi said. “Judge Stanley handles these cases professionally and with the best interest of the child in mind.”
The process to replace Stanley will begin very soon, Chief Judge Tedeschi said. “First of all, a vacancy will be announced and applications for the position will be sought,” Judge Tedeschi said. “All applicants must be licensed attorneys in good standing from within the twelve counties of the Second Circuit.” The Second Judicial Circuit is comprised of the following twelve counties; Crawford, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White.
The state's judicial administrative office in Springfield will establish a deadline to receive the applications. After that, a certified list of qualified applicants will be forwarded to Chief Judge Tedeschi. There are currently fourteen circuit judges within the Second Circuit. Each of the fourteen judges will receive a ballot and will be asked to vote on the candidate of their choice. It will take at least eight yes votes to elect the new associate judge. Once the ballots are received in the office of the Chief Judge, the process of appointing a new associate judge is expected to take only a couple of weeks.
The salary for an Associate Judge as established by the Illinois Legislature is $188,171 per year which became effective July 1, 2017.