Republicans lining up to fill Logli’s shoes

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Paul Logli (R) announced June 4 he will not seek re-election to the post. Although Logli’s term will not expire until fall 2008, he may step down early if appointed to replace retiring Circuit Court Judge Gerald Grubb (R), who is retiring in August.

Logli is hopeful he’ll be appointed, but stated his decision to stay out of the 2008 race for state’s attorney is not based on the possibility of judgeship.

“The decision not to seek re-election is based primarily on the fact that, at the end of this term, it will have been 22 years,” Logli said. “I believe I’ve accomplished the things I’ve wanted to accomplish, and it’s just time to move on. The job is an incredibly fulfilling job. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I also have to admit that it’s taxing.”

Logli, 58, says he plans to spend more time with his family, but will be seeking new opportunities, even if he’s not appointed to replace Grubb.

“I want to continue to do something,” Logli said. “Whether it’s private practice, business, whatever. I think I want to do something. If an opportunity intervenes between now and 2008—I made no secret of it—if I were to be offered an appointment to the bench, I would seriously consider that.”

Logli is a Rockford native who began his career in 1974 as an assistant state’s attorney for Winnebago County before going into private practice in 1977. He was then appointed to the 17th Judicial Circuit as an associate judge in 1981. Logli stepped down from the bench in 1986, accepting an appointment to complete the unexpired term of then-State’s Attorney Dan Doyle. Two years later, Logli was elected to the post, where he’s served since.

During a press conference to announce his decision, Logli threw his support behind First Deputy State’s Attorney Chuck Prorok (R). Prorok has spent his nearly 30-year career in the state’s attorney’s office, handling both criminal and civil cases.

“I’ve got a great deal of background in all aspects of the office,” Prorok said. “I don’t think anybody else can say they have.”

Soon after the press conference, Rockford attorney Philip Nicolosi (R) indicated he may also be throwing his hat in the ring. While Nicolosi believes himself more than qualified for the job from his experience prosecuting cases for the City of Loves Park and the villages of Rockton and Roscoe, he noted there was much to consider before making a decision.

“It’s a big responsibility, that position, as well as running a campaign,” explained Nicolosi, who has also served as a Rockford Township trustee since 1991. “There’s a lot involved with those issues.”

Nicolosi said he’s loved being in private practice with Nicolosi & Associates for the last 22 years, and he’s not sure he’s ready to give that up.

Asked whether he’d make any changes to the office if appointed or elected, Prorok responded: “I think I’d like the office to get a little bit more involved in the community. Both the Sheriff’s Department and the Rockford Police Department have been involved in community policing. I think we should follow their lead.”

Responding to the same question, Nicolosi said he’d be hesitant to plan any changes before actually taking office, but hopes Logli would be available for consultation during the transition.

While more names are expected to surface soon, no Democrats have formally expressed interest yet.

from the June 6-12, 2007, issue

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