Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2013, 11:19 pm

Attorneys apply to succeed Stengel

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Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbridge on Thursday announced 10 attorneys have applied to fill a 14th Judicial Circuit judicial vacancy.

Charles "Casey" Stengel retired on Jan. 1.

The attorneys include David W. Andich, of Rock Island; Associate Judge Raymond J. Conklin, of Moline; Marita M. Griffith, of Moline; Norma Kauzlarich, of Taylor Ridge; Christine A. Keys, of Bettendorf; Michael J. Kraycinovich, currently in the Army and stationed in Alabama; Kathleen E. Mesich, of Coal Valley; Benjamin J. Samuelson, of Moline; Katherine Varlas Teel, of Rock Island; and Linnea E. Thompson, of Moline.

A news release from Joseph Tybor, Supreme Court director of communications, states the Illinois Constitution gives authority to the Supreme Court to fill Circuit Court vacancies on an interim basis.

"That process now will proceed to background checks by law enforcement authorities and with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission," the release says. "Chief Justice Kilbride also will use a poll of all attorneys residing in the 14th Judicial Circuit.

"The Illinois State Bar Association will conduct the poll, asking attorneys their opinions of the applicants' integrity, temperament, legal ability, management skills and other professional qualifications."

The chief justice also will appoint a judicial screening committee made up of community representatives, including non-lawyers and members of the legal profession, to evaluate the candidates. The committee members will be announced at a later date.

People wishing to send written comments about the candidates during the selection process may send them to: Judge Appointment Comments, 14th Judicial Circuit, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, 3101 Old Jacksonville Road, Springfield, Ill. 62704.Comments must arrive by March 1 and include contact information, such as name and address; they should be brief, preferably less than 250 words.

The 14th Judicial Circuit includes Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties. The person appointed to fill the vacancy will serve until Dec. 1, 2014, when the position will be filled by the 2014 general election.