Adrian to announce intention to seek retention as judge, comment about Clinton case on Tuesday

Robert Adrian

Judge Robert Adrian

QUINCY — Robert Adrian, who is subject to a complaint from the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board, will announce his intention Tuesday to seek retention as a judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

Adrian sent an email to local media Saturday morning. He will kick off his campaign at 5 p.m. Tuesday in front of the Adams County Courthouse, 521 Vermont. Adrian wrote in the email that he now is free to comment on the Drew Clinton case.

Adrian found Clinton, 18, guilty of felony criminal sexual assault following a bench trial in October 2021. However, during post-trial motions at the beginning of Clinton’s sentencing hearing on Jan. 3, Adrian acknowledged he was required to impose a mandatory jail sentence. The statute under which Clinton was convicted required a minimum four-year sentence in the Department of Corrections.

Adrian refused to impose the jail sentence, then threw out the conviction, resulting in Clinton being released from the Adams County Jail.

Adrian testified under oath before the Judicial Inquiry Board in April. The JIB’s complaint said Adrian explained his decision to reverse his finding of guilt in the sexual assault case was based upon the evidence, and his conclusion that the prosecution had not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the victim could not give consent.

Adrian also allegedly testified that his reversal was not an effort to “thwart the law.” The JIB alleged in its complaint, filed June 17, that this testimony was false, and Adrian knew it was false when he made the statements.

Adrian allegedly violated several rules of the Code of Judicial Conduct, including Rules 61, 62 and 63. Rule 61 states, “A judge should uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.” Rule 62 states, “A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all the judge’s activities.” Rule 63 states, “A judge should perform the duties of judicial office impartially and diligently.”

The case will go before the Illinois Courts Commission for a formal hearing at a yet-to-be-determined date.

Adrian has been in private practice in Quincy since 1983.  He was one of eight people considered for eighth judicial circuit judge in 2004 when Judge Dennis Cashman retired in June. He ran for eighth judicial circuit judge in 2010 to replace retiring judge Mark Schuering. He won the Republican primary in February and defeated Chris Scholz in November.

Adrian was retained in the general election in 2016.

He graduated from Central High School in Camp Point in 1976. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Millikin University in 1980 and a law degree from the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale School of Law in 1983.

Before his election to circuit judge, Adrian was a partner in the law firm of Adrian & Dunn in Quincy and Mount Sterling. He was a public defender in Adams County for three years and an assistant state’s attorney for eight years.

Adrian and his wife, Martha, have three adult children.

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