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Board appoints interim state's attorney

DIXON – The new interim Lee County state’s attorney appointed Tuesday is excited to get to work.

Charlie Boonstra, 33, will take over Oct. 21 for Lee County State’s Attorney Matt Klahn, who recently was chosen to become an associate judge for the 15th Judicial Circuit.

“There’s definitely a lot of opportunities and challenges ahead; we have a lot pending right now, but I have a great team to work with,” Boonstra said shortly after the County Board signed off on his appointment.

Klahn, 40, of Lee County, was elected state’s attorney in 2016 and brought Boonstra over from Whiteside County to serve as first assistant state’s attorney, after hearing high praise from judges and others about him.

Klahn recommended him as his replacement long before the judgeship was announced, in a letter for if he died suddenly or was otherwise unable to serve.

Boonstra will fill the remainder of the term, which ends Nov. 30, 2020, and he plans to run for the office but hasn’t formally announced his candidacy.

He looks forward to serving in a different capacity for the county, and one of his first orders of business will be to name his replacement.

Boonstra, of Fulton, received his juris doctor from Regent University School of Law and bachelor’s degree from Trinity Christian College.

He lives in Dixon with his wife and son.

Klahn is replacing Lee County Associate Judge Charles T. Beckman, 69, who’s retiring after 2 decades on the bench.

As associate judge, Klahn will not preside over any cases that were prosecuted while he was state’s attorney.

Board Chairman John Nicholson thanked Klahn “for his great service to our county” and said he’ll deliver the same dedication as a judge.

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