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Local News

Will County judge leaves retirement to fill court vacancy

Rick Mason
Rick Mason

JOLIET – A Will County judge has reversed his decision to retire – a ruling that has been upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Former Associate Judge Rick Mason was named Thursday to complete the term of Circuit Judge Dan Rozak. Rozak and Mason both retired in January.

“I thought I was happy in retirement, but this seemed like a great opportunity, so I put in for it, and I’m honored to have been appointed,” Mason said Friday.

Mason grew up in Ottawa before attending Lockport Township West High School, which now is Romeoville High School. After receiving a degree from Valparaiso University, he argued personal injury and criminal cases, then spent 10 years as an associate judge.

A Shorewood resident, Mason spent two months in Arizona before learning last week he still could apply for the circuit vacancy. He will take over Thursday as presiding judge of misdemeanors.

“I wrote [to the Supreme Court] I don’t have to be trained and could come right on,” Mason said. “I think I can still help the community, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Mason said he will not seek to retain his seat when his term expires in December 2018.

“This was a big change of plans ... to discuss with my family, but I do have their support, and at the end of the term, I will retire for good,” he said.

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