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SPRINGFIELD -- The nine associate judges of the 11th Judicial Circuit have been recommended for reappointment, according to results of a poll conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association.

Lawyers who practice in the circuit and other attorneys who requested a ballot were eligible to participate in the mail-in evaluation.

McLean County Associate Judge Casey Costigan received the highest score among his colleagues, with an overall score of 97.94. The rating is an average of scores in seven categories: integrity, impartiality, legal ability, temperament, court management, health and sensitivity.

Other local judges recommended in the poll were David Butler at 81.44; Rebecca Foley, 97.12; Lee Ann Hill, 93.27; and Michael Stroh, 86.00.

Associate judges Charles M. Feeney II, with a score of 85.14; Mark Fellheimer, 96.97; Thomas Funk, 88.37; and Robert M. Travers, 93.33, also were recommended.

Associate judges are reappointed every four years by the circuit judges in each circuit. An associate judge must receive the votes of 60 percent of the circuit judges to be reappointed. Voting is concluded prior to the beginning of new associate judge terms on July 1.

In the ISBA poll, candidates receiving 65 percent or higher "yes" votes were recommended. Associate judges receiving less than 65 percent were not recommended.

In a statement accompanying the poll results, the ISBA noted that the survey was conducted and released to the public "because all judges are public officials, and the opinions of their professional colleagues about their performance are to public interest."

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