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Richard D.
Democrat IL

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  • Tribute to Judge Charles Romani, Jr.

    by Senator Richard J. Durbin

    Posted on 2013-01-28

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    DURBIN. Mr. President, I would like to acknowledge recently retired Illinois Judge Charles Romani, Jr., who served on the bench for 30 years in Illinois' third circuit. Among many achievements over those years of service, Judge Romani's work setting up a veterans' court stands out.

    Veterans' issues have always been close to Judge Romani's heart. Having served in the U.S. Army himself, as a sergeant during the Vietnam War, Judge Romani knows firsthand the difficulties that veterans face when returning home from war.

    Judge Romani was born and raised in Greenville, IL. He attended Western Illinois University, before continuing on to law school at St. Louis University. Upon graduation, Romani accepted a position as Assistant State's Attorney for Madison County. Two years later, in 1974, he ran for State's Attorney in Bond County. He was elected and served with great distinction for 7 years.

    Romani first became an associate judge of the Third Judicial Circuit in 1983. Five years later, he became a circuit court judge. And, in 1989, Judge Romani became Chief Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit in Illinois.

    [[Page S326]] In 2009, a growing number of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began appearing on court dockets around the country. Many of these veterans have special needs, including mental health needs, and many of them greatly benefit from specialized services. It was then that Judge Romani began modeling an innovative, new veteran's court based on a successful model in Buffalo.

    Since 2009, the court that Judge Romani created has helped innumerable veterans turn their lives around. The Court consistently sees between 30 and 40 veterans go through its program at a time. There are now approximately 104 veteran's courts, like Judge Romani's, around the country helping those who served the United States in its time of need.

    Judge Romani identifies this court as his ``most rewarding achievement as a judge.'' Judge Romani's last day on the court was November 5, when he completed an impressive career that spanned 39 years. He has been married to his lovely wife Karen for 38 years. They have three children, two of whom were recently married.

    I add my voice to many others when I say thank you, Judge Romani, for your years of distinguished public service and the indelible mark you have left on Madison County.


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