News - Sauk Valley

Ogle state’s attorneys past and present apply for associate judgeship

OREGON – Ogle County State’s Attorney Mike Rock and the man he replaced are among six attorneys seeking to replace 15th Judicial Circuit Associate Judge Clayton L. Lindsey, who resigned May 31 to run for circuit judge.

In addition to Rock, 55, of Byron, former Ogle state’s attorney Eric D. Morrow, 46, of Oregon, whom Rock defeated in 2020, Kathleen A.L. Isley, Allison M. Huntley, Anthony W. Peska and Ann E. Switzer applied.

Rock was in private practice from 2000 to 2010, was first assistant to the Ogle state’s attorney from 2010 to 2013 and was appointed Ogle’s interim state’s attorney in 2013-14, when Ben Roe became a judge.

He was defeated by Morrow in his bid to retain the job, then became chief of staff of the Winnebago County state’s attorney office before winning the 2020 race.

In addition to 5 years as state’s attorney, Morrow was in private practice with Smith & Morrow from 2002 to 2014, and before that was an assistant Ogle County state’s attorney from 2000 to 2002. He returned to private practice with the firm after losing the election.

Isley, 44, of Rochelle, was licensed to practice law in 2005 and began her legal career in Ogle County, where she has worked since.

She has been the Ogle County chief public defender since the full-time Public Defender Office was established on Dec. 1, 2020.

Before joining the county, Isley owned and ran her own law office; her work there included several years as a contract public defender for the county.

Huntley, 33, of Byron, is an assistant state’s attorney in Ogle County, hired in December 2020. Before that, she was an ASA in Winnebago County for 2 years, and she was a civil litigation associate with HolmstromKennedy PC in Rockford before that.

She is on the board of Hope of Ogle County, which assists victims of domestic violence, and recently was named one of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s 40 Under 40. She serves on two Illinois Bar Association councils, the standing Council on Professional Conduct and the Council on Criminal Justice.

Peska, of Freeport, is an attorney with Mahoney & Mahoney LLC. According to his firm’s website, he has jury trial experience, has handled matters ranging from first-degree murder to traffic citations, has represented parents in numerous juvenile abuse and neglect cases, and has served as a guardian ad litem for children in the judicial system.

He is on the board of the Family YMCA of Northwest Illinois, has been a tutor for the Highland Community College adult literacy program and a mentor for at-risk children.

He graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law at Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he served on the Diversity and Anti-Racism Committee and the Native American Law Student Association.

Switzer, 57, of Oregon, is a Boone County assistant state’s attorney; before that, she was an ASA in Ogle County from January 2013 until August 2020, when she was hired by Boone. She has handled many trials, and has focused on juvenile and criminal cases.

Lindsey resigned after announcing in February his intent to run for the circuit court judgeship opening Nov. 30 with the retirement of Judge Robert Hanson, who will have served 16 years on the bench.

Lindsey is running unopposed, and will continue to be based in Oregon, as was Hanson.

The new associate judge also will be based in in Oregon.

Comments on the candidates will be taken in writing through July 29, and can be sent to Chief Judge Jacquelyn D. Ackert at toms@15thjudicialcircuit.com or 106 S. Fifth St., Suite 306A, Oregon, IL 61061.

Anonymous comments will not be considered by the circuit judges, who vote on the candidates.

The candidates will be interviewed Aug. 5, and the new associate judge will be announced soon thereafter.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.