Report: Local Illinois judge charged with DUI

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Joseph Hettel photo from

An Illinois circuit court judge from Ottawa faces a DUI charge after he allegedly crashed into a parked car.

Police said they charged Circuit Court Judge Joseph Hettel with driving under the influence, improper lane use, failure to reduce speed to avoid and accident and using a handheld communication device while driving according to the Illinois Valley NewsTribune.

No injuries were reported when Hettel allegedly crashed his vehicle into a parked car at about 10:45 p.m. Monday, March 31, 2014 in the 1800 block of LaSalle Street in Ottawa.

Hettel serves in the 13th Judicial Circuit, presiding primarily over civil cases in Bureau, Grundy and LaSalle Counties.

Hettel was LaSalle County State’s Attorney when he was appointed in 2006 to fill the vacant circuit court seat of Judge Robert Carter when Carter moved to the appellate court, and he ran unopposed for re-election. Hettel was appointed in 2011 to hear the case of 37 Walnut-area residents and landowners who sought to halt development of a 150-turbine wind farm in Bureau County, Illinois.

Hettel, 46, was up for retention in the November 4, 2014 election according to the NewsTribune report.


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