---- — BENTON — Following certification from the Illinois State Board of Elections, Benton attorney Eric Dirnbeck was sworn in Tuesday as a judge in the Second Judicial Circuit.
The ceremony, held at the Franklin County Courthouse with Judge Tom Tedeschi presiding, follows months of legal proceedings following the 2012 primary election.
Dirnbeck defeated Mt. Vernon attorney Kent Renshaw by 42 votes. A judge blocked Dirnbeck from taking the bench until the court formally declared him the winner.
Judge John Speroni ruled earlier this month there was no reasonable likelihood a recount would change the result. Speroni suppressed the results of the election because since there was no Republican candidate, the winner of the Democratic primary would effectively be the winner of the seat. Speroni signed an order Monday lifting the suppression.
Renshaw, through Mt. Vernon attorney Lane Harvey, is expected to appeal the decision.
After challenging eight of 35 Franklin County precincts, Lane reported his team found substantial issues with the validity of a number of voter registrations.