ROCK ISLAND — Walter Braud, the chief judge of Illinois' 14th Judicial Circuit, announced Friday that he plans to retire in 2020.
Braud made the announcement during a luncheon and meeting of the circuit’s officials at the Rock Island County Justice Center.
“There needs to come a time that I don’t have (a job) anymore,” said Braud, who will be turning 80 on Saturday, while addressing the meeting's participants.
He has not picked a specific date in 2020 for retirement. Braud said that when he does retire, it will be both as a judge and as the chief judge of the circuit.
The 14th Circuit's elected judges — known as circuit judges — will choose a new chief from among themselves, Braud said.
A new judge to fill the ranks will be appointed by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride. That judge will serve until the next election or the position will be filled during the election, depending on the timing.
The 14th Circuit is comprised of Rock Island, Henry, Mercer and Whiteside counties.
Friday’s meeting was the 2019 installment of an annual meeting held by each Illinois judicial district, Braud said. Circuit officials and those who work with them meet to discuss criminal justice and other issues within the circuit.
Friday’s meeting had about 50 people in attendance, including judges, county sheriffs, prosecutors and public defenders.
The keynote speaker was U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline.
“You are all in a position to make our community safer, better and more orderly,” she said.
She told them that their success was pegged to their ability to work with the people around them.
Bustos said that politics play a role in the election, but once that is over, the politics need to stop and the work start.
“You all have to work together,” she said.
She said they, like her, are public servants, and she had some tips for them: Work hard to earn their pay from taxpayers; fight when something needs to be fought for; and get results.
“Our bosses, all of our bosses, are the people,” she said.