Former Joliet city manager Thanas appointed judge
By Brian Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org December 19, 2013 10:54AM
Joliet City Manager Thomas Thanas at city hall last week. | Bob Okon~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 21, 2014 11:12AM
JOLIET — Much of Tom Thanas’ tenure as city manager was spent changing the way things look downtown — his next job moves him one block east and back to the other side of the bench.
On Thursday, Thanas was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to replace Richard Siegel as a 12th circuit judge. Thanas will step in Jan. 1 when Siegel retires.
“My previous time as a judge was very rewarding and the timing has worked out again,” Thanas said. “I have kept my robe and gavel so we will save a few dollars for the taxpayers.”
March 2008 to last month, Thanas served as Joliet’s city manager. He was previously the city attorney for Joliet and Naperville and regional counsel for Harrah’s Casino.
Thanas was widely believed to be interested in becoming a judge again when he left the city manager’s job, saying he had no set plans for the future. Two city council members even commented on his future career in the courthouse during parting comments at Thanas’ last council meeting in November.
As city manager, Thanas was instrumental in the development of the new downtown transportation center under construction. He also was closely involved in negotiations with county officials on a future courthouse to be built downtown.
Thanas when he was city attorney did much of the legal work for the annexations that spread Joliet’s western boundaries into Kendall County. He also was Joliet’s chief legal counsel as the city brought in two riverboat casinos in the early 1990s.
“I’m filling in because (Siegel’s) seat is being replaced by Subcircuit 2, which I don’t live in, for the upcoming election,” Thanas said.
Thanas was first appointed judge in 2001 and heard juvenile cases for a year before losing an election. This appointment lasts until Siegel’s term expires in December 2015. Thanas will not run again.
“I am grateful to the Supreme Court for their recognition of the need in Will County to complete Judge Siegel’s unexpired term so that we can continue to provide judicial services to our citizens as effectively and as efficiently as possible,” Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt said. “With his background and qualifications ... Thanas is an excellent choice to fill that role.”
Assistant Public Defender Stewart Ferreira, attorneys Dan Kennedy, Jim Murphy and Dawn Underhill, Assistant State’s Attorneys Tina Filipiak and Moira Dunn and Associate Judge David Garcia have filed as Democratic candidates for subcircuit 2. Associate Judge Dinah Archambeault will be unopposed in the Republican primary. Once elected, circuit judges are back on the ballot every six years for retention votes.
Thanas will take over Siegel’s mortgage and foreclosure court call on Jan. 1.
Contributing: Bob Okon, Janet Lundquist