Judge Clarence “Mike” Darrow has been unanimously elected as chief judge by the circuit judges of the 14th Judicial Circuit for a two-year term starting December 5. Darrow will succeed Chief Judge Frank Fuhr, who will continue to serve as presiding judge of the Rock Island County Criminal Division, having reached his term limit. The 22 judges of the Illinois 14th Judicial Circuit preside over the courts of Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside counties. “I am honored by the confidence my colleagues have placed in me and I look forward to serving the citizens of the 14th Judicial Circuit in this new role,” said Darrow.
Judge Darrow has served as deputy chief judge since 2019 and as the presiding judge of the Rock Island County Civil Division since 2014. He was elected circuit judge in 2010. Before becoming a judge, Darrow served as the Mercer County public defender from 2007 to 2010. He also maintained a private law practice from 1999 to 2010.
Darrow earned his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and his M.B.A. from the University of Illinois College of Business in 1996. He served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. In 1992, Darrow graduated cum laude from Marquette University. He is a 1988 graduate of Rock Island Alleman High School and is a lifelong resident of Rock Island, where he and his wife raised their six children.