Daily Journal staff report
WATSEKA — Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court announced Wednesday the appointment of Associate Judge Michael Sabol as a resident circuit judge of Iroquois County in the 21st Judicial Circuit, which also includes Kankakee County.
Sabol was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge James B. Kinzer on Aug. 2.
“Serving the citizens of the 21st Judicial Circuit as associate judge has been an honor,” Sabol said in a news release. “Replacing Judge Kinzer will be no easy task, although I look forward to the challenges of presiding as resident circuit judge.”
The appointment is effective Aug. 3 and will conclude Dec. 7, when the position will be filled by the general election in November. Sabol will be on the ballot in that election and is running unopposed.
“The circuit is losing a real asset and institutional knowledge with the retirement of Judge Kinzer. Judge Sabol has done a good job for the 21st Circuit and Iroquois County in particular,” Kilbride said in the release. “He has earned the opportunity to become circuit judge and continue to serve the people of the 21st Circuit.”
Kilbride recommended Sabol’s appointment to the Supreme Court following a request by 21st Circuit Chief Judge Michael Kramer to fill the vacancy in order to best serve the needs of the court.
“On the behalf of the 21st Circuit, I would like to thank Justice Kilbride and the Illinois Supreme Court for making this timely appointment,” Kramer said. “We will greatly miss Judge Kinzer’s wit and wisdom, but we have great confidence in Judge Sabol.”
Sabol has served as associate judge for Iroquois County since September 2016.
From 2006 to 2016, he was an associate at Elliott & McClure and then Godin, Denton, & Elliott, and concurrently served as Iroquois County assistant public defender. From 2002 to 2006, he was an assistant state’s attorney with the Iroquois County State’s Attorney’s Office. “
Sabol earned his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Michigan State University College of Law.
Sabol’s professional affiliations include the Illinois Judges Association, Kankakee County Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Iroquois County Bar Association, where he serves as treasurer.