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Three candidates apply to be next state’s attorney

Interviews set for today

OREGON – Three attorneys are vying to become the next Ogle County state’s attorney.

The applicants are Robin Minnis, Eric Morrow and Mike Rock.

The state Supreme Court appointed State’s Attorney Ben Roe to replace retiring Ogle County Circuit Judge Michael Mallon on Nov. 8, 2 days after Roe won re-election to his third term.

On Monday, the county announced that it would accept applications for the position, giving a deadline of noon Wednesday.

A dozen years ago, Morrow started his law career at the Ogle County state’s attorney’s office. He worked there about 2 years, then went into private practice. He’s been a public defender since 2008.

“My practice has always been concentrated on criminal law,” Morrow, 37, said Wednesday. “My undergraduate degree was in law enforcement. It’s always been on my mind to get back in the law enforcement end of things.”

Rock is an Ogle County assistant state’s attorney. Minnis is a former associate judge. They couldn’t be reached for comment.

In August, Rock and Morrow were applicants for the open associate judgeship in Ogle County. The vacancy was left by then-Associate Judge Robert Hanson, who was appointed to fill the 15th Judicial Circuit judge vacancy left by Judge Stephen Pemberton.

Attorney John Redington of Rochelle was appointed.

County Board Chairman Kim Gouker said he believed the roughly 2-day window for applications was enough time.

“The word had been out already throughout the legal community,” Gouker said. “We put our release through the Ogle County Bar Association. We went through the major media in the area.”

Gouker, the County Board’s vice chairman and three other board members will interview the three candidates today. Gouker said he would then seek the input of the other members and possibly announce his recommended candidate as early as tonight.

Gouker has the power to make the recommendation, subject to the board’s approval. The board is expected to vote on his nominee Tuesday.

The new state’s attorney will fill the remainder of the first 2 years of Roe’s 4-year term. After that, there will be a special vote during the next general election in 2014 to fill the remaining 2 years.

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