Eric Rinehart is sworn in Tuesday morning as Lake County State’s Attorney by Lake County Chief Judge Diane Winter. | Provided photo.

Eric Rinehart, who defeated Michael Nerheim, was sworn in Tuesday morning as Lake County State’s Attorney and promised to reduce crime and end disparities in the courtroom.

Lake County Chief Judge Diane Winter swore in Lake County State’s Attorney Eric F. Rinehart in front of nearly two dozen friends and family members at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan.

Rinehart, 44, said his mission as Lake County State’s Attorney will be to “fight every day to make Lake County safer without sacrificing our commitment to equality, transparency, or the rights of all individuals.”

“We will always proceed with compassion and transparency, but our first responsibility to the people of Lake County is the completion of the mission: we will reduce crime and end disparities in our courthouse,” Rinehart said. “I promise my office will protect all communities regardless of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation.”

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Rinehart said he learned the importance of everyone being treated equally and that America’s sacred mission is to provide a political, economic, and legal system that allows “anyone to prosper regardless of the circumstances of their birth.”

Rinehart spent two years practicing civil law in Chicago after graduating from Knox College and the University of Chicago Law School.

He joined the Lake County Public Defender’s Office in 2003 before starting his own law firm in 2009.

Rinehart has conducted over 70 jury trials in Lake County and handled appeals that have culminated in over 20 oral arguments before the Illinois appellate courts and the Supreme Court of Illinois, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

Rinehart is married to his wife, Stephanie, and has two sons, Sam and Teddy.

“Nothing is more important to me than my family’s safety,” Rinehart said. “I will take that passion and determination to protect all families with me to work every day.”

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