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McCann elected chief judge of new 23rd Judicial Circuit

Judge Tim McCann is sworn as chief judge new 23rd Judicial Circuit by Judge MelissBarnhart during ceremony Monday December 3

Judge Tim McCann is sworn in as chief judge of the new 23rd Judicial Circuit by Judge Melissa Barnhart during a ceremony on Monday, December 3, 2012 at the Kendall County Courthouse in Yorkville. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 5, 2013 6:15AM

YORKVILLE — Kendall County Judge Tim McCann didn’t even have to move his desk to get a new job. He is the new chief judge in a brand new judicial circuit: the 23rd.

On Monday, Kendall and DeKalb counties officially left the 16th Judicial Circuit to form the 23rd Circuit. The move has been in the works for almost two years, and it leaves Kane County alone in the 16th Judicial Circuit.

“When we left Kane County, this was not a disharmonious separation,” McCann said. “They supported our leaving the circuit because our needs and their needs were different.”

McCann said with two large cities — Aurora and Elgin — in Kane County, the two regions had distinct sets of issues and challenges. For instance, the probation department in Kane County was so large, McCann said it caused problems during union negotiations. Kane County needs language in its contract for positions that did not exist in Kendall and DeKalb counties. A separate judicial circuit will reduce those conflicts and, hopefully, save money.

The new circuit will also allow Kendall and DeKalb to write their own rules and policies for courtroom management. The first step was electing a new chief judge. Monday morning, the circuit judges elected McCann.

“I am pleased and I am humbled by their faith in me,” McCann said at a swearing-in ceremony Monday. “I hope to provide a good service.”

McCann said the change was historic for courtroom officials. In anticipation of the new circuit, several judges in the old 16th Circuit recently moved, including Judge John Barsanti, the former Kane County state’s attorney, who returned to Kane County this week.

But McCann pointed out if all goes well, most people who show up in court for their criminal or civil case will never notice a difference. The courtroom and court records will still be in the same place and, for the most part, many of the judges are the same.

“Our job is to make this as seamless as possible,” McCann said.

There was a festive atmosphere in the Kendall County Courthouse Monday as elected officials and courtroom personnel took their annual oath of office in the new circuit.

“Most of you heard the 23rd was coming today and probably expected Devin Hester or Michael Jordan,” McCann joked. “Sorry to disappoint.”

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