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Judge, Lima Municipal Court
B.S. Psychology, Bowling Green State University; Graduate Studies, Indiana University; J.D. University of Toledo, College of Law.
- Work Experience
Licensed Attorney in State of Ohio, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and admitted to practice in Federal Court, Northern District of Ohio.
Married, 2 Adult Children
List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I was appointed by the Governor as Judge in the Lima Municipal Court on September 22, 2014 and was subsequently elected to a full term of office in 2015. Since then, I have administered the judicial functions of the Court and have been able to reduce the time period in which cases are heard and disposed of by the Court. Also, the court has received a certification for our Drug Court docket and we have initiated formal pretrial services, both designed to reduce our local jail population and to reduce recidivism. I have experience hearing criminal, traffic, and civil matters. Prior to this appointment, I served as city and county prosecutor and as a Magistrate in the Allen County Juvenile Court from 1997-2002. During this five year period I presided over cases that involved Delinquent (Felony and Misdemeanor offenses) and Unruly Children, Traffic matters, Parentage/Custody, and Dependency, Neglect and Abuse proceedings.
What non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I have a variety of legal experiences. I have represented private parties, governmental agencies, and have served as a prosecutor in both misdemeanor and felony matters. Based upon these experiences, I truly appreciate the importance of the Lima Municipal Court. Citizens are more likely to encounter this Court than any other Court in our community. Therefore, their impression of the justice system is likely a result of their experiences in this trial court. Based upon my experience in this Court I understand the importance of treating individuals professionally and fairly. Maintaining the decorum and efficiency of this busy Court can be difficult but is absolutely necessary for justice to be done. Like many other communities Allen County has struggled with increased drug addiction. The Lima Municipal Court often sees addicted individuals first, prior to them committing more serious criminal offenses. We are offering services and addressing their illness while still holding offenders accountable to the community for their criminal acts. I currently oversee a certified Treatment Court Docket and will work tirelessly, with Court staff, to make a positive impact in our community. Also, recently, this Court has implemented formal pretrial services which has reduced our jail population, increased the use of electronic monitoring for community protection, and links persons with mental illness or drug addiction to qualified service providers very early in the court proceedings. My experience, energy, and willingness to make changes to improve Lima Municipal Court qualify me to be a Judge in this Court.
Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I would like to continue our efforts to improve the Court, particularly related to use of technology, efficient scheduling of cases, and expansion of specialized dockets and pretrial services. But in order to continue this progress the Court needs Judges that are highly motivated, energetic, reasonable, consistent, and respectful. I strive to live up to this challenge every day and will continue to do so if voted into office for this term. Additionally, I understand that each case is unique and that persons appearing before the court deserve to have their case heard, not merely processed. I will continue to improve the court scheduling with the use of technology in order to address the needs of various parties. Some examples of how this can be accomplished are by the use of telephonic interpreter services, video conference platforms, and electronic filing. Also, I would like to improve our collaborative efforts with treatment providers and expand our Treatment Court docket to include those with serious mental illness and developmental disabilities. This would enable the Court to be more proactive in preventing further criminal acts. If elected I will provide firm, fair, and creative solutions to the controversies litigated in Lima Municipal Court.