Three longtime Kane County judges announce retirement
By Matt Hanley firstname.lastname@example.org October 10, 2012 11:52PM
Sixteenth Judicial Court Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon will be head of criminal division. November 22, 2010 | Michael Smart~Staff Photographer
Updated: November 12, 2012 6:03AM
Longtime Kane County judges Allen Anderson, Robert Janes and Tim Sheldon have announced their retirement.
For several years, Anderson and Sheldon have taken on some of the county’s most complex and high profile felony cases. Janes has presided over many different courtrooms and currently serves in the family court.
Sheldon, who is scheduled to retire Dec. 1, has been a judge for 26 years. Sheldon said he is most proud of his work establishing Kane County’s mental health court, which gives some defendants with mental health issues a chance to get treatment and reduce the charges they are facing. He was also proud of his time presiding over the victim impact panel, where people charged with driving under the influence hear from people whose lives were affected by DUI crashes.
For the past few years, Sheldon has been on the third floor of the criminal courthouse, presiding over some of the more high profile and complicated murder trials. He said among his most memorable was the jury trial for a Gilberts man who intentionally killed his girlfriend by setting her condo on fire in 2007. After a jury convicted Frank Hill, Sheldon sentenced him to 90 years in prison.
Sheldon said he will consider still practicing law, but he plans to spend most of his time with his granddaughters and on hobbies that include skiing, racing sailboats, hunting and running.
“This is a wonderful job,” Sheldon said. “Very few people get to do this. With it comes great respect, recognition and responsibility. I’ve enjoyed this experience and I’ve tried to treat people well.”
Anderson is scheduled to retire on the last day of 2012. After graduating from Elgin High School and Bowling Green University, Anderson taught fifth grade while going to law school at night. He worked for 27 years in his own law firm before becoming a judge in January 2000. He served in the Aurora and Elgin branch courts, the DUI court and then moved to the felony division.
Anderson said one of his goals on the bench was to give defendants enough information so that they understand a legal process that may be foreign or confusing to them. Anderson said he has no plans for retirement other than spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. The 66-year-old said he decided to leave the bench before he lost any satisfaction he feels for the work.
“I hope whoever comes in after me has the same enthusiasm. This is the best employment situation anyone could ever have — but I’m a little bit biased,” Anderson said.
Janes is a judge in Kane County’s family court. During his 16 years on the bench, he has also worked in the traffic and misdemeanor division. He presided over felony, misdemeanor, juvenile, mental health, drunken driving and domestic battery cases. He developed the video bond courts in St. Charles and Elgin. Prior to becoming a judge, Janes worked as an appellate prosecutor, public defender, conflict attorney and a private attorney with law offices in Geneva and Aurora. He could not be reached for comment this week.