New Judge Gets Low Marks in Poll

By Charles Bosworth Jr. Of the Post-Dispatch | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), April 27, 1995 | Go to article overview

New Judge Gets Low Marks in Poll


Charles Bosworth Jr. Of the Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


A poll among lawyers has given Associate Judge Ann Callis Rongey of Madison County the lowest rating for legal ability among 152 judges in Illinois outside of Chicago.

Rongey, 30, of Troy, also received the third-lowest rating in the state for the overall category of "meets the requirements of office."

Rongey said Wednesday that neither she nor Chief Judge Edward Ferguson has received a complaint about her performance since she began hearing cases in January.

She said she could understand the low ratings because she had been on the bench only a few months and not many lawyers had appeared before her.

When asked whether she believed publicity about criticism of her appointment had influenced the lawyers' answers, Rongey said: "I am not going to try to make excuses for my showing in the poll."

Rongey was a part-time assistant prosecutor and the youngest of 21 candidates for the judgeship when she was elected by the nine circuit judges in Madison and Bond counties. Reports had circulated that she had the job locked up because of the influence of her father, Lance Callis, a successful lawyer in Granite City and a long-time activist and contributor in Democratic politics.

Rongey said then that she was qualified apart from the lobbying by her father and other prominent lawyers.

The poll by the Illinois State Bar Association rated all associate judges outside of Chicago and asked lawyers in each circuit to answer yes or no to seven questions about the performance of judges in that circuit. Included were questions about requirements, integrity, impartiality, legal ability, temperament, court management and health. …

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