Milton S. Wharton was appointed an Associate Circuit Judge of the 20th Judicial Circuit in 1976 and served many years as the presiding judge of the St. Clair County Juvenile Court. He was elected a Circuit Judge in 1988 and served as presiding judge of the St. Clair County Criminal Court until his retirement in 2012. In 2019, he was appointed to the Fifth District Appellate Court by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier for a one-year term and reappointed by Justice David K. Overstreet in 2020 to a two-year term.
He is a graduate of Lincoln Sr. High School in East St. Louis, IL, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and DePaul University College of Law- 1974.
Justice Wharton has served as an elected Representative to the Illinois State Bar Association Assembly and Chairperson of the ISBA Standing Committees on Juvenile Justice, Judicial Advisory Bar Polls, and Bylaws. He has served as a judicial education lecturer on high volume courts, evidence, and diversity and inclusion. He is a recipient of the Special Recognition Award for Access to Justice from the ISBA.
Justice Wharton has a long record of service in civic and community betterment endeavors; most notably he is a founder of the Court Appointed Special Advocates program (CASA) of Southwestern Illinois, which protects the rights of abused and neglected children, and Racial Harmony. His contributions have been recognized by numerous awards and accolades including the (National) Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award of the Boy Scouts of America, Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice from then Pope now Saint John Paul II, Alumni Hall of Fame-S.I.U.E., and he has been named a Legend in the Legal Community by the St. Louis Argus Newspaper.
He is married to Attorney and M.B.A Patricia Wharton, and they have one daughter, Bernadette, a senior at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.