by Ryan Wells
A pair of Republicans are running against each other to fill the R. Peter Grometer vacancy in the 16th Judicial Circuit.
Fred M. Morelli
Fred M. Morelli brings more than 43 years of legal experience into the campaign. Having served as Assistant Stateâ€™s Attorney in Cook County, Assistant Public Defender in Kane County, Head Public Defender in Kane County, an Associate Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit from 1976-81, with a private practice since 1981, he said it is his breadth of experience that makes him the right person for the job.
â€œI have the most experience, the best work ethic, the best temperament, and have proven my abilities as judge,â€ he said.
He said that a key issue facing the court system is the case backlog, overcrowded courtrooms and jails, and a lack of funding to address these issues. After being appointed as an associate judge in the 16th Circuit to fill a vacancy in 1976, he said he reduced the trial backlog from nine months to just one day, while receiving a 98-percent approval rating from the bar association. He said he plans to merge his experience with the same focus on efficiency he used during those years to improve the current backlog.
â€œSolutions available include a willingness to work harder and more efficiently, and come up with new solutions that do not compromise the rights of litigants or further burden taxpayers,â€ Morelli said. â€œIn short, a judge has to be willing to put in longer hours and hold attorneys and litigants accountable for being unprepared, as well as being prepared themselves.â€
â€œI am seeking your vote for judge because I feel I have the most to offer,â€ Morelli said. â€œFor 43 years, I have represented difficult clients with difficult problems. I have an ability to get along and an ability to find solutions.â€
Kevin T. Busch
Kevin T. Busch is a current Associate Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit, having served in the post since 2008. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Stateâ€™s Attorney, the Chief of the Criminal Division in the Kane County Stateâ€™s Attorneyâ€™s Office, and was in private practice beginning in 1992.
Busch said that with nearly half of the 16th Circuit positions to be filled with new judges, it is vital that only the finest men and women fill the judicial positions.
â€œA Circuit Judge must be intelligent, responsible, honest and above reproach,â€ Busch said. â€œI believe that I am the only candidate to fill this vacancy that possesses all of these qualities. I also believe that it is for these reasons that I am endorsed over my opponent by (Judge) Grometer himself.â€
In the most recent Illinois State Bar Association Judicial poll, over 91 percent of those polled believed Busch possessed the highest level of integrity and courtroom management skills; that is evidence, Busch said, that he has already demonstrated what is needed in the judgeship.
When Busch first began in his role as Associate Judge in the 16th Circuit, his first change was to open his court a half-hour early. This was done to â€œhelp litigants and their lawyers take care of business more easily, lessening delay and waiting time,â€ Busch said.
Most of all, Busch said, he intends to pool together his range of experience throughout his career to serve him in his role, should be be elected.
â€œ(I will) approach each case with the same dedication to justice and fairness that I expected from judges as a prosecutor and as a private attorney,â€ Busch said.