Will County judge who once ran for state’s attorney plans to resign

Judge Dave Carlson speaks at a hearing of Joseph Czuba at the Will County Courthouse on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023 in Joliet. Joseph Czuba, 71, was arraigned on charges of first-degree murder of 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume and and attempting to kill his mother, Hanaan Shahin, 32, on Oct. 14 at a Plainfield Township residence.

A judge who was a one-time challenger to Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow plans to resign from the bench on April 30, about two years before his term expires.

Will County Judge Dave Carlson said he submitted his resignation to the Illinois Supreme Court on Friday. Carlson declined an interview about his resignation, saying he was advised it would not be appropriate for him to do so while he’s a sitting judge.

Carlson was appointed as an associate judge in 2013 in Will County, which is the 12th judicial circuit court in Illinois. Carlson defeated Diane Para to become a circuit court judge in the 2014 election.

Circuit court judges serve six-year terms and they are paid an annual salary of $234,380. Carlson’s term was set to expire in 2026 after voters retained him as a judge in the 2020 election.

Since the 2012 election, Carlson has been the only serious Republican challenger to Glasgow, a Democrat, who has been the state’s attorney in Will County for seven terms since 1992. Although attorney Ricardo Munoz attempted to challenge Glasgow in 2020, he was disqualified from the ballot.

No one is running against Glasgow in this year’s election.

Before becoming a judge, Carlson served as prosecutor under former Republican Will County State’s Attorney Jeff Tomczak and Glasgow. Carlson then left the state’s attorney’s office to enter private practice.

Judge Dave Carlson listens to opening statements at the Erin Zilka trial at the Will County Courthouse on June 27th, 2023 in Joliet. The former Joliet police officer Erin Zilka is on trial on aggravated DUI charges following a deadly 2020 crash where her passenger, Berwyn police officer Charles Schauer, 33, of Glen Ellyn, was killed.

At one point during Carlson’s time in private practice, he was a law partner of former Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk. Carlson administered O’Dekirk’s oath of office when he became mayor in 2015. O’Dekirk served two terms in office before he was defeated last year by Joliet Mayor Terry D’Arcy.

Carlson has presided over many high-profile cases in recent years. One of them has been the post-conviction proceedings of former Bolingbrook Police Sgt. Drew Peterson, 70, who was convicted in 2012 of killing his fourth wife, Kathleen Savio, 40.

Earlier this month, Peterson made his first court appearance in likely seven years in Will County in Carlson’s courtroom.

Carlson was briefly a judge on the case against Joseph Czuba, 72, who is charged with the hate crime murder of Wadee Alfayoumi, 6, in Plainfield Township. He was also the judge in the case for Kyleigh Cleveland-Singleton, 21, who is charged with obstructing the police investigation into Joliet mass shooting suspect Romeo Nance, 23.

As the presiding judge of the felony division, Carlson will usually assign felony cases to other judges or his own courtroom.