By CARL GREEN
Edwardsville, IL – Maryville attorney Marc Parker, a friend of Labor who came within a whisker of being elected circuit judge last year, is now representing workers as a newly appointed Labor commissioner on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Governor J.B. Pritzker put his own stamp on the commission, appointing a new chairman, two public commissioners and two Labor commissioners, including Parker.
The commission’s job is to resolve disputes between employees and employers on work-related injuries and diseases. Each case starts with an arbitrator, whose decision may then be reviewed by a panel of three commissioners, one for Labor, one for employers and one for the public.
Beyond the commissioners, cases can be taken to court, but most disputes are resolved by settlement.
The commission has three panels of commissioners and offices in Chicago and Springfield. Pritzker appointed Michael Brennan to be chairman of the commission, plus two public commissioners and two Labor commissioners. Brennan, previously a leading attorney in workers’ compensation, was appointed to the commission in 2013.
In running for the judgeship, Parker said his 25-year career as a personal injury lawyer was all about helping working people. “I don’t switch off – one day the working folks and one day the insurance company – and I’m proud of that,” he said. “I want you to know I’m not going to forget what I’ve done, where I’ve been and where I’ve come from.”
BILL MUDGE, CHIEF JUDGE
Meanwhile, Circuit Judge William A. Mudge was elected two a two-year term as chief judge of the Third Judicial Circuit, which includes Madison and Bond counties. Mudge replaces Judge Dave Hylla, who has been chief since 2013.
“I’m proud of the Third Judicial Circuit and am honored that my colleagues have placed their faith and confidence in me to maintain the circuit’s excellent reputation,” Mudge said.
Mudge, of Edwardsville, graduated from St. Louis University School of Law, practiced law in Edwardsville and then served eight years as Madison County State’s Attorney beginning in 2002. He was elected circuit judge in 2010.
He has served on the U.S. Senate Judicial Nominating Commission for the Southern District of Illinois and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority board, and has been chairman of the Madison County Child Advocacy Center board since it was formed in 2003.