Peter Vilkelis: Candidate Profile

Cook County Circuit Court (Democrat)

Updated 2/14/2014 10:43 PM

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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City: Chicago


Office sought:

Cook County Circuit Court

Age: 58

Family: Married for 32 years.

Occupation: Judge

Education: John Marshall Law School, J.D., 1980

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Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, B.A., 1977

St. Laurence H.S., 1973

Nativity B.V.M. Grade School, 1969

Civic involvement: At the time of my appointment, I was a member of the Illinoils Capital Litigation trial Bar as a designated lead counsel, as well as a member of the screening committee.

Elected offices held: none

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?

I was appointed to the bench in February 2011. Despite the endorsements listed above, I was unsuccessful in my electoral efforts. The Illinois Supreme Court then re-appointed me. I am running for the vacancy to which it appointed me. I sit in Child Protection at Juvenile Court after volunteering for that assignment. I believe it is the most important division in our court system because we deal with the lives of the most vulnerable members of society who are our future. I am motivated to get them the help they need to prevent them from drifting into delinquent behavior and to become thriving members of society. It is challenging but rewarding work. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and hope to continue here. That is why I am a candidate.

What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?

I have a broader range of experience. I worked as a deputy court clerk for seven years while in college and law school. I was an assistant states attorney for nine years. For the next twenty years, I was a solo private attorney representing clients in sate and federal courts. After being evaluated and found to be 'recommended' and 'qualified' by every bar association, the Illinois Supreme court appointed me to the bench. I have been a judge for almost three years.

Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?

Since becoming a judge, the Chicago Bar Association said that I am 'well-regarded for (my) knowledge of the law, work ethic, and outstanding demeanor and temperament.'