On November 30, 2022, at the Illinois Supreme Court Building in Springfield, Associate Judge Frank lerulli was sworn in by Justice Lisa Holder White as an At-Large Circuit Court Judge in the Tenth Judicial Circuit. He was sworn in on a 140-year-old family bible.
Judge lerulli was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael D. Risinger, effective November 30, 2022. The appointment of Judge lerulli takes effect on December 1, 2022, and will conclude December 2, 2024, following the November 2024 general election.
Chief Judge Katherine Gorman had stated, "Judge lerulli has served with distinction as an Associate Judge and earned the opportunity to become a Circuit Judge."
Congressman Darin La Hood stated, "As a former state and federal prosecutor, I have no doubt the Judge Frank lerulli will make an excellent addition to the Tenth Circuit. Judge lerulli has served as an Associate Judge in the Tenth Circuit, earning the respect of his fellow judges, the legal community, and residents in Peoria County. Judge lerulli is smart, fair, and understands our community, and I know he will continue to serve honorably as the At-Large Circuit Court Judge in the Tenth Judicial Circuit."
"I am honored and humbled to be appointed to serve as a Circuit Court Judge. I would like to thank Justice Holder White and the Illinois Supreme Court for their trust," Judge lerulli said. "I look forward to serving the citizens of the 10th Judicial Circuit as a Circuit Judge."
Judge lerulli has served as an Associate Judge in the Tenth Judicial Circuit since 2016. He previously spent 12 years in private practice and was a shareholder at Howard & Howard Attorneys, a law firm of over 100 lawyers. Prior to private practice he worked for 11 years at the Peoria County State's Attorney's Office representing the County in both civil and criminal matters. While at the State's Attorney's Office he served in a number capacities including as the Chief of the Juvenile Division, as a Felony prosecutor, as the Administrative prosecutor and Chief of the Civil Division. He successively tried cases in all of the criminal courtrooms of Peoria County.
Judge lerulli has a long history community involvement. He has served as President of the Abraham Lincoln Court and the Moss-Bradley Residential Association. He has also served as a Commissioner for the City of Peoria Zoning Board of Appeals. He served on the Board of Directors for the Riverfront Museum and W.D. Boyce Council of t he Boy Scouts of America. He also served as a Council Commissioner and District Committee Chairman for Heartland District of the W.D. Boyce Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he served as a member of the Family Advisory Board at Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Educational Center, as a member of the Campaign for Legal Services for Prairie State Legal Services, and as a volunt eer for Heart of Illinois Harvest. He was also an Officer in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1998 to 2010. The Peoria County Bar Association recognized his public service by awarding him the Distinguished Community Service Award in 2016.
Since being appointed to the bench, Judge lerulli continues to volunteer at Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Educational Center, assist with the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program and stresses education for the minors in his courtroom. In 2021, Peoria Public Schools recognized Judge lerulli's work with their Juvenile Justice Advocates with a State of the Schools Innovation Award.
Judge lerulli earned his Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University and received his Juris Doctor from the Creighton University School of Law. His current and past professional associations include the Illinois Judges Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Peoria County Bar Association, and The Abraham Lincoln Court.