Letter to the Editor: Voters must hold Adrian responsible on Election Day

Robert Adrian

Judge Robert Adrian

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Tuesday, Nov. 1 is the last day Muddy River News will publish “Letters to the Editor” pertaining to the Nov. 8 general election. We will publish our next round of letters on Monday, Oct. 31 and we will accept other letters up until 3 p.m. on Nov. 1. We will review those and post them that day. JRG

When you vote Nov. 8, your ballot contains one crucial yes-or-no choice you cannot ignore.

In the Judicial Retention section: Should Robert Adrian be retained as judge of the Eighth Judicial Court? (The Eighth District includes Adams, Pike, Calhoun, Cass, Mason, Menard, Brown and Schuyler counties.)

Usually justices are unceremoniously retained because, after all, voters often don’t know what goes on in a courtroom.

That is not the case with Adrian, who made international news when he blatantly disregarded Illinois law earlier this year. 

Adrian reversed his conviction of Drew Clinton on felony sexual assault charges involving a 16-year-old high school student. 

Both had attended a graduation party in which drinking was involved. Cammy Vaughan, who publicly came forward after the sentencing reversal, says she was intoxicated and fell asleep on a couch only to be awakened with a pillow over her face and 18-year-old Clinton assaulting her.

At the sentencing hearing in January, Adrian changed his verdict to circumvent the state’s mandatory sentencing of four years.

“Mr. Clinton has served almost five months in the county jail, 148 days. For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment,” said Adrian, according to court transcripts.

Outrage was immediate. Media including The New York Times and Britain’s Daily Mail reported the story. TV personalities such as Dr. Phil and Nancy Grace debated the decision. A grassroots group, Stand With Cammy, launched a change.org petition to oust Adrian. Protests were held in Quincy.

Because of his actions, Adrian was removed from criminal cases and reassigned to civil matters. 

Currently, the Illinois Courts Commission is reviewing a complaint filed by the Judicial Inquiry Board. It charges Adrian with prejudicial conduct, bringing the judicial office into disrepute and lying under oath before the board. Disciplinary action could involve removal from office, suspension with or without pay, censor or reprimand. 

In addition, the lawyers who appear in his courtroom have overwhelmingly voted that he does not have the integrity, impartiality and temperament needed for the job. Earlier this fall, the Illinois State Bar Association, in a poll of its members, recommended Adrian NOT be retained by an overwhelming margin. Out of 117 judicial candidates, only two scored lower.

Adrian has been notoriously unrepentant. He denies the facts, revises history, blames the media and cites personal grievances.

While it is rare that a judge loses in uncontested elections  — a process that obviously favors incumbents —  Adrian has brought notoriety to his office and to downstate Illinois.

The judge, who is paid over $200,000 a year, rebuked the law and is being investigated for judicial misconduct. Voters must hold him accountable. We need a judge who respects the law. Vote NO on Adrian’s retention.

Christine Ledbetter
Kinderhook, Ill.

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