Election official lays out next steps for 3 Illinois judges

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois State Board of Elections official says he’ll accept written arguments later this week in the case of three southern Illinois judges who plan to retire in name only to avoid retention elections that require 60 percent approval rather than a simple majority. The Belleville News-Democrat reports hearing officer David Herman met Monday with the judges’ attorney and objector Dallas Cook, who is Belleville’s city clerk. Cook is a Republican. Judges John Baricevic, Robert Haida and Robert LeChien are Democrats. They’ve filed paperwork to retire in December 2016 but are seeking to keep their jobs in the November election. Herman says he’ll give his recommendation to the board, which could decide at its Dec. 22 meeting. The judges’ attorney is Michael Kasper, a high-profile Chicago election attorney.