New DuPage County State’s Attorney

There’s a new DuPage County State’s Attorney. As Joe Birkett assumed his seat on the Second District Appellate Court, his former first assistant, Robert Berlin, took over the top prosecuting job in DuPage.

After a unanimous vote by the DuPage County Board, Bob Berlin was sworn in as DuPage County State’s Attorney. Berlin’s been with the county for the last six years, and says his biggest challenge is maintaining the county’s top reputation.

“This office is known as being professional. It’s known for its excellence. It’s known as one of the finest prosecutors’ offices in the state, and in the country for that matter,” said Berlin.

Berlin brings 23 years experience with him to his new post. He began his career in Kane County, followed by Cook, before settling in DuPage in 2004. As an administrator, Berlin knows he’ll have new responsibilities. He still hopes he’ll be able to make it into the courtroom.

“It’s a good opportunity to teach the younger attorneys who are moving up so they can gain the experience that they need so they can try those big cases as well,” said Berlin.

Choosing a state’s attorney was the first duty of Dan Cronin, DuPage County Board Chairman. He says he began the process before he was sworn in, and met with each of the county board members before selecting Berlin.

“We’ve enjoyed this rich tradition of the state’s attorney as the chief law enforcer, as someone who is tough on crime, and an experienced prosecutor. I think that has served us well here over the years,” said Cronin.

Over his career, Berlin has tried more than 50 cases in front of a jury. He faces as many as 12 of those cases in the next three months. Berlin says he wants his office to focus on justice, not on convictions.

“We have an obligation to try cases correctly, professionally, to follow the rules of professional conduct, and to make sure that the rights of even someone who is charged with a crime, that those rights are protected,” said Berlin.

Berlin fills the job for the rest of Joe Birkett’s term, which expires on November 30, 2012. Berlin says he’s already planning on running that year to become the elected DuPage County State’s Attorney.

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