Mt. Vernon Register-News

October 9, 2012

Candidate poll results released


SPRINGFIELD — — The Illinois State Bar Association has released its poll and evaluations of judicial candidates for the Nov. 6 election.

The ISBA conducts the poll each election, sending the questionnaire to all lawyers within the state and asking them to rate candidates in integrity, impartiality, legal ability, temperament, court management, health and sensitivity. Candidates must receive a 65 percent score regarding meeting the requirements of office in order to be recommended by the ISBA.

In the Appellate Court race, Stephen P. McGlynn and Judy L. Cates received a ranking of “highly qualified” by their peers. Justice Melissa Chapman, who is seeking retention, received a positive recommendation from her peers for retention to the court.

In the Second Judicial Circuit, two judges are seeking retention — Melissa Drew and Christopher Weber. Drew was not recommended for retention, while Weber was recommended for retention.

The ISBA sent out 202 ballots for the retention issue, with 91 ballots returned. Of those returned, only 52.54 percent believe Drew meetings the requirements for office; she was ranked at 75.44 on integrity; 68.42 on impartiality; 47.46 on legal ability; 52.54 percent on temperament; 55.93 on court management; 92.98 on health; and 74.14 on sensitivity.

Weber received positive recommendations from 96.15 percent of respondents of the poll. Other category rankings were 98.11 in integrity; 98.11 in impartiality; 96.15 in legal ability; 96.23 in temperament; 100 percent in health; and 98.11 in sensitivity.

In the Second Judicial Circuit, four candidates will be on the ballot vying for two judicial seats. All four candidates received “recommended” ratings from their peers. The ISBA sent out a total of 258 ballots to lawyers; 137 ballots were returned.

Eric J. Dirnbeck received a 98.46 for meets requirements of office; a 98.46 for integrity; 95.38 percent for impartiality; 96.92 for temperament; 96.44 for court management; 96.92 for health; and 96.88 for sensitivity.

In the category of meets requirements of office, Nicole Villani received positive marks from 68.83 percent of those returning ballots. She received a 69.62 for integrity; 58.97 for impartiality; 81.01 for legal ability; 72.15 for temperament; 85.33 for court management; 93.67 for health; and 74.67 for sensitivity.

T. Scott Webb received a 94.29 percent positive ranking from those returning ballots in the area of meets requirements of office. Webb received 97.14 percent for integrity; 97.22 for impartiality; 100 percent for legal ability; 94.44 for temperament; 97.22 for court management; 100 percent for health; and 94.44 for sensitivity.

Jo Beth Weber was ranked with 79.37 percent of the respondents stating she meets the requirements of office. Weber received 98.41 percent in integrity; 90.48 percent in impartiality; 66.67 in legal ability; 90.48 in temperament; 90.32 in court management; 98.41 in health; and 96.77 in sensitivity.