Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Rockford-based US judge retiring; keeping senior status

ROCKFORD — The sole full-time federal judge in the area says he’ll retire after 35 years on the bench.

Rockford-based U.S. District Judge Frederick Kapala told the Rockford Register Star he can see the Owly Oop bar from his chambers. And the 67-year-old added he’s “going to go in there, order a beer and watch that TV” when he steps down.

Kapala announced Wednesday he’ll retire — but effective only next year. He said he wanted to ensure there’s enough time to find a replacement.

His retirement won’t mean he’ll stop working completely. He opted for senior status, allowing him to hear a handful of cases each year.

Kapala was named to the bench by former President George W. Bush in 2007. He served as a state judge before that.

–Associated Press

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