Illinois Supreme Court Assigns Retired Judge Wharton to Fill Vacancy in Fifth District Appellate Court
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that retired Circuit Judge Milton S. Wharton has been assigned as an appellate court justice in the Fifth District.
Judge Wharton was assigned to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Fifth District Appellate Court Justice Melissa Chapman, who will retire effective Oct. 2. Judge Wharton’s assignment will take effect on Nov. 1 and conclude Dec. 7, 2020, following the November 2020 general election. Judge Wharton will not be a candidate in the race to fill the vacancy permanently.
For 35 years, Judge Wharton served with distinction in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, first as an associate judge from l976 to 1988 and then as a circuit judge until his retirement in 2012.
Judge Wharton has served on numerous committees involving the local and state bar associations and previously served as president of the St. Clair County Bar Association. Among his many other accomplishments, he is also former 1st Vice President of the East St. Louis Chapter of the NAACP, past board member of the East St. Louis chapter of Habitat for Humanity, past co-chair of the crime study committee of the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council, and recipient of a Special Recognition Award for Access to Justice from the Illinois State Bar Association.
Judge Wharton earned his bachelor's degree from the Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois, and his Juris Doctor from the DePaul University School of Law in 1974. He is a member of the SIU Edwardsville Hall of Fame and a former Alumnus of the Year.
The Fifth Judicial District is composed of 37 counties in the southernmost part of Illinois, including: Alexander, Bond, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, Shelby, St. Clair, Wabash, Wayne, Washington, White, Williamson, and Union.