Circuit Judge Marc Bernabei has announced his retirement from the judicial office effective Aug. 15.
Bernabei, 68, of Spring Valley, serves as a Circuit Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit (Bureau, La Salle and Grundy Counties) and has served as the presiding judge of Bureau County Circuit Court during his entire judgeship.
Bernabei first was elected to a six-year term by Bureau County voters as Resident Circuit Judge in 1998 and took office on Dec. 7, 1998. He was retained by voters of the entire three-county circuit for six-year terms in 2004, 2010 and 2016.
Bernabei’s general assignment has required him to hear every type of criminal and civil case filed in circuit court. Prior to his 1998 election, Bernabei served as Bureau County’s State’s Attorney for 14 years.
“The oath of office I have taken four times as State’s Attorney and four times as Circuit Judge has guided my obligation to the firm, fair, honest and impartial administration of the law,” Bernabei said.
“The people have generously allowed me the special privilege of serving them in both positions. I am profoundly thankful to the people of Bureau County and the entire Thirteenth Judicial Circuit for having been given those rare opportunities.”
Upon his retirement, Bernabei will have completed more than 37.5 years of service at the Bureau County Courthouse with 14 years as State’s Attorney and more than 23.5 years as circuit judge.
Prior to his 1984 election as State’s Attorney, Bernabei was in private practice with his father. He served as a Spring Valley Police Officer while attending college and law school.
Bernabei is a 1972 graduate of St. Bede Academy. He received his bachelor’s degree from Lewis University in 1978 and his law degree from Northern University College of Law in 1981.
Bernabei and his wife Linda are the parents of three children, Jason Bernabei, Cara (Harold) Burr and Liza (Jeff) Gillan and have 8 grandchildren.
Bernabei stated that many individuals have played a small or large part in the trajectory of his career.
“I will leave public service with a long list of people – past and present – to who I will be forever grateful and who have my highest respect including my judicial colleagues, the entire court services staff of clerks, deputy clerks, court reporters, bailiffs and chief judge office office officials, my State’s Attorney staffs, law enforcement officers, attorneys with whom I have worked and countless people who have supported me and my election campaigns,” he said.
Bernabei also wanted to especially thank the parts that many of his family members played throughout his judicial career.
“My deepest thanks and appreciation goes to my family, especially to my late parents, Attorney Bruno and Lois Bernabei, and especially, above all, to my wife Linda, whose love and support has made it possible for me to serve,” Bernabei said.
Bernabei and his wife now expect to spend time with family as they enter into the next phase of their lives.
“Linda and I now look forward to the next chapter of our lives with our family and we do so with sincere and heartfelt gratitude and great anticipation,” Bernabei said.
Source: The Daily Chronicle