APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIFTH DISTRICT
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS ex rel. FRED FINCK et
Bassett et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants and
Cross-Appellants; Beverly Delaney, Plaintiff)
526 N.E.2d 935, 172 Ill. App. 3d 706, 122 Ill. Dec. 542 1988.IL.1166
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County; the Hon. Wendell Durr, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE WILLIAM A. LEWIS delivered the opinion of the court. KARNS and LEWIS, H., JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LEWIS
Defendant, Bruce D. Locher, Special State's Attorney for Madison County, appeals from an order holding him in contempt of court and from a subsequent order reaffirming the contempt holding and sentencing him to two consecutive weekends in jail.
This case has a long history and a unique background most of which is not relevant to the issues raised in this appeal. Judge Dennis A. Cashman from the Eighth Judicial Circuit was assigned by the supreme court at the request of the chief Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit to hold court in Madison County "on such dates as it may be necessary to complete all matters pending in Case No. 84 -- MR -- 92, Petition for Appointment of Special State's Attorney." Judge Cashman, pursuant to his assignment order, appointed the defendant, Bruce D. Locher of Springfield, Illinois, as Special State's Attorney and authorized him to complete the investigation pending before the January 1984 grand jury concerning allegations of misconduct in the supervisor of assessment's office in Madison County.
On August 8, 1985, several persons, who were being investigated, commenced this case by filing a complaint in quo warrantor challenging the defendant's authority to act as Special State's Attorney by reason of the defendant's never having taken an oath of office. Associate Judge Wendell Durr was assigned by the chief Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit to hear the matter.
After several hearings in this case, the defendant filed a "Petition To Direct County Of Madison, Illinois To Pay Attorney Fees and Costs of Defendant" setting forth that he had been appointed Special State's Attorney by Judge Cashman and Special Prosecutor by Judge Edward C. Ferguson in case No. 82 -- CF -- 785 in Madison County and prayed "that this Court will enter an Order and Judgment on and against the County of Madison, State of Illinois, to pay Defendant, BRUCE LOCHER, for his time devoted to the Quo Warrantor suit, and reimburse him for his expense and reasonable attorney's fees, in the same manner and under the same procedure as he is paid as special prosecutor or Special State's Attorney of Madison County, Illinois." Judge Durr concluded a hearing on January 10, 1986, in which the aforesaid petition was raised by saying:
"And perhaps we'll take under advisement the question of attorney fees. But my feeling at this point would be to defer to either the Supreme Court or Judge Cashman on that point." *fn1
On January 15, 1986, Judge Durr entered an order covering other rulings made in the January 10 hearing without mentioning any fees, ...