McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers has been chosen to become a judge, the Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday.
Chambers, a former Normal Town Council member who's been McLean County's top prosecutor since 2012, will become an at-large circuit judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. He'll fill the vacancy created by Judge Robert Freitag's July 6 retirement. Chambers' appointment takes effect Aug. 21. He'll serve at least through the November 2020 general election.
Chambers was one of four applicants for the job, beating out Associate Judge David Butler and attorneys Joseph Foley and John Heil.
"Mr. Chambers has been a distinguished state's attorney in McLean County, has a wide variety of experience and is highly recommended by both the bench and bar," Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman said Monday in announcing the pick.
Chambers, of Normal, previously worked in private practice. He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University and Southern Illinois University's law school.
Several other judges have announced they are stepping down or acknowledged they are considering retirement.
"I've always felt a need to try and serve my community. This is just taking my life and career experiences and using it to serve in a different capacity," Chambers said in a statement. "I appreciate Justice Garman and the Supreme Court for putting in the time and thorough effort to evaluate the candidates, who all would have been respectable choices. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit is going to be going through significant changes with judicial turnover and I look forward to being an impactful part of that change."
The appointment means McLean County will need a new state's attorney. Chambers' first assistant state's attorney, Adam Ghrist, is leaving after accepting a job with the U.S. attorney's office. Chambers announced May 9 that Brad Rigdon is being promoted to become the new first assistant.
“We will be reviewing that possible appointment and possible pending future County Board action in coming days," said County Administrator Bill Wasson.
The Eleventh Judicial Circuit includes Ford, Livingston, Logan, McLean, and Woodford counties.
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