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Three McHenry County judges up for retention

WOODSTOCK – Voters will be asked on Election Day whether they want to retain three McHenry County judges.

Circuit Judges Michael J. Chmiel, Maureen P. McIntyre and Charles P. Weech are seeking six-year terms. At least 60 percent of those responding to the ballot question must choose “yes” for a judge to be retained. Retention races don’t require judges to declare a party affiliation and there are no opponents.

McIntyre, who was first appointed in 1996, is the presiding judge of the family division and currently handles juvenile cases including abuse and neglect, but has heard a variety of cases during her tenure.

Weech, who has been on the bench since 2001, handles criminal misdemeanor cases. In April 2011, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the McHenry County Bar Association for his work with the mental health court, which started in 2007.

Weech has been involved in the McHenry County justice system for 34 years, including as a probation officer, an investigator with the Public Defender’s Office and an intern with the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Chmiel, who has been a judge since 2005, presides over a civil courtroom handling arbitration, chancery and probate calls. He also previously served as a juvenile court judge. In 2010, Chmiel was given a formal reprimand from the Illinois Courts Commission for holding a special 2007 bond hearing for the brother of a political ally. The commission concluded that Chmiel’s decision to convene the bond hearing for the jailed brother of the Algonquin Township highway commissioner created an appearance of impropriety.

The commission rejected allegations that Chmiel engaged in inappropriate communication and said that an inquiry board did not meet the burden of proof that Chmiel ever intentionally misled them under oath.

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