CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Courts Commission has removed a St. Clair County judge after concluding he lied to police during a 2016 murder investigation.

The commission’s Friday decision to remove Ronald Duebbert from office took effect immediately, according to The (Belleville) News-Democrat.

The Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board filed a complaint in 2018 with the commission accusing Duebbert of lying to its members and authorities about contact with his former roommate, David Fields of East St. Louis, who was later acquitted in the death of Carl Z. Silas.

Among other things, Duebbert told investigators he hadn’t heard from his roommate in the days surrounding the murder but cellphone records obtained by the newspaper showed otherwise.

The newspaper’s efforts to reach Duebbert were unsuccessful. A listed phone number for Duebbert couldn’t be located Sunday.

The commission, which includes an Illinois Supreme Court judge, two appellate court judges and two circuit judges, said Duebbert “demonstrated an utter disregard for the integrity and respect of the judiciary.” The commission said Duebbert had lied throughout the investigation and his misconduct wasn’t an isolated incident.

The commission concluded Duebbert violated the judicial conduct code.

Duebbert was elected in November 2016, but after the connection to Fields became known, the Republican was limited to administrative duties in January 2017.

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