Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

3rd Circuit Votes out 2 Judges Both Say They Will Seek Reappointment to Jobs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

3rd Circuit Votes out 2 Judges Both Say They Will Seek Reappointment to Jobs

Article excerpt

Two associate judges have been tossed off the bench for Madison and Bond counties without apparent explanation in a secret vote of the circuit judges that was made public Tuesday.

Daniel J. Stack of Highland and Michael J. Meehan of Edwardsville will leave office June 30 because neither got the required 60 percent support of circuit judges required for retention.

Both are 44 years old and were first named to judgeships in 1986. They serve the Third Circuit, which comprises both counties.

Chief Circuit Judge Edward C. Ferguson said the outcome surprised him, but he declined to comment further on it.

Neither Ferguson nor anyone else at the court's headquarters in Edwardsville is privy to the exact number of votes cast for each man, since the nine circuit judges send their ballots directly to the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts for counting.

Eight other associate judges were retained for terms through 1999. They included Ann Callis Rongey, whose appointment to the bench earlier this year stirred controversy because of her limited experience. She is the daughter of powerful Granite City lawyer and Democratic Party activist Lance Callis.

Stack expressed surprise at his fate. "I think it's kind of goofy," he said. "Nobody ever came to me and said I was doing a bad job or I'm not working hard enough or my rulings are bad."

Meehan, also surprised, said he viewed the defeat philosophically. "I'm not bitter about it. I'm not into post mortems. I'm interested in looking forward," he said.

Both said they planned to seek appointment to their own vacancies. While this involves applying to the same judges who just threw them out, it is not as strange as it sounds. Six votes are needed to be retained but only five - a simple majority - are required to be appointed.

At least twice in the circuit's history, ousted associate judges were reappointed to their own jobs. …

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