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Former southern Illinois judge says comments were misconstrued

By Sean Crawford, Illinois Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – A former Macoupin County judge who was accused of making threats says her comments were misconstrued.

Judge Diane Brunton resigned more than a week ago. She had been suspended without pay since January. That's when Brunton says she made what she calls a "joke" out of frustration. While she would not provide specifics, Brunton called it an innocent comment.

"Have you ever said something like 'if so and so doesn't get their act together and get me the right information on this, i'm going to kill them?'" Brunton said. "It was something like that. I was waiting on this order to be prepared. It was obvious to me the person who had to prepare it was not happy with doing so. That's what precipitated the comment."

Brunton said the next day she was placed on leave. An investigation is complete and no charges have been filed.

Brunton said rather than try to get her job back, she chose to retire after more than 20 years on the bench. The former judge says it would have been too difficult to return to work.