URBANA — What do you do if you’re one of the state’s top elected officials and find yourself summoned to jury duty?
If you’re Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, you consider it your civic duty.
Frerichs served on a Champaign County jury Monday and Tuesday for a retail-theft case. The verdict was guilty, he said.
It wasn’t Frerichs’ first time on a jury, he said. He has been called two other times.
For anybody considering trying to get out of jury duty, his advice is this:
“I’d say it is your civic duty, and it definitely can mess up a work schedule. But having served on the jury, I was reminded that this is important. Everyone has a right to a jury trial, and people have to be open to serving.”
He would also like to remind folks that everyone gets called for jury duty randomly, regardless of occupation. On his first day of jury service this week, a fellow prospective juror was a police detective with a weapon on his hip, he said.
A former state senator who has also served on the Champaign County Board and as county auditor before being elected state treasurer, Frerichs still lives in Champaign and does a lot of commuting around the state, he said.
Prospective jurors are selected from a database of names that come from records of registered voters, Illinois Department of Labor records of people who have applied for unemployment, and Illinois Secretary of State driver’s license and state ID card records, according to the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s office.