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State

Ill. judge sworn in after months of legal fighting

BENTON — A southern Illinois attorney was sworn in as a judge, more than a year and a half after he won an election to the Second Judicial Circuit.

Eric Dirnbeck was sworn in as an at-large judge during a ceremony at the Franklin County Courthouse Tuesday after months of legal wrangling over the election.

Dirnbeck beat Democratic challenger Kent Renshaw by 42 votes in the March 2012 primary. There was no Republican challenger in the general election.

Renshaw contested the results and a judge blocked Dirnbeck from taking the seat until a formal winner was declared. That happened earlier this month.

Renshaw's attorney is he's appealing, saying some people who cast ballots weren't properly registered.

The Second Judicial Circuit includes 12 counties in southeastern Illinois.

Dirnbeck starts work Wednesday.

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