GENEVA – Geneva attorney D.J. Tegeler has joined the race for the Kane County Circuit Court judge seat that will open in October 2014 after Judge Karen Simpson retires.
Tegeler, 50, said he became a licensed attorney in 1990 and has handled a variety of cases in his career, including criminal jury and bench trials and divorce cases.
“About the only case I’ve never tried is a medical malpractice case,” he said. “There’s not a courtroom in Kane County that I haven’t done a trial in. I’ve literally tried a case in every room.”
Tegeler, who ran for a judge position four years ago, is running for the Kane County Circuit Court judge position on the Republican ticket. He joins the race with Associate Kane County Judge Marmarie J. Kostelny, currently assigned to the drug rehabilitation court, who also is running on the Republican ticket.
Tegeler has served has the legal counsel for the Kane County Republican Central Committee, vice chairman of the Western Township Republicans and is the president of the Mill Creek Water Reclamation District. He said the water district has a $6 million to $7 million budget, which was in the red when he took over four years ago, but has been in the black for the last three years.
“When it comes to working within a budget, I’ve proven that I can do that,” he said.
Tegeler was the chair of the Criminal Law Committee several years ago and helped set up the rules and regulations of the county’s drug court program, as well as the county’s second chance program.
If elected, Tegeler said he hopes to work toward streamlining divorce and custody cases “so kids in divorce cases aren’t in the middle of the tug of war.” He said he’d like to set local rules and regulations that would help complete the custody portion of the case immediately.
He said he’s always been interested in becoming a judge because he truly enjoys practicing law and has experience with looking at both sides of each case.
“Not only do you render decisions and have to realize it’s people’s lives you’re dealing with, but you have to be willing to have ideas on how to make the judicial system better and work within a budget, which I have done for 20-some years in my own practice,” he said. “You have to have a passion for the law, and I have all those. I think I’m by far the best candidate.”