SPRINGFIELD — S. Gene Schwarm of Vandalia, chief judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, has been appointed to fill a vacancy in the Fifth District Appellate Court, based in Mt. Vernon.
Schwarm will replace James M. Wexstten of Mt. Vernon, who announced his retirement. The appointment becomes effective on April 1.
Schwarm is currently chief judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit which includes Marion, Fayette, Clinton, Clay and Effingham counties. He will serve as Appellate Court judge until December, 2016, when the position will be filled by the winner of the 2016 General Election.
Schwarm spent 20 years as a resident judge in Fayette County and has been elected chief judge of the circuit seven times. He has served as chairman of the Conference of Chief Circuit Judges since 2006. He has also served on numerous committees and commissions for the Supreme Court.
Schwarm is a graduate of Brownstown High School and the University of Illinois. He received his law degree from Washington University School of Law.
Schwarm’s appointment was made by Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier based on a committee’s recommendation, an Illinois Supreme Court news release stated.