Please provide bio information/professional experience that qualifies you to be a judge – I have been a public servant my entire career. I was a felony assistant prosecutor for Bill Peelle’s office for 8 years. When Mr. Peelle retired, I prosecuted in Highland County, then took a job as Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Justice Section, Capital Crimes Division for 7 years, until I was offered a position closer to home as a Deputy Director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. I was Senior Counsel for the State Medical Board of Ohio. Shortly after that, Mike Daugherty asked me to come home and prosecute for the City of Wilmington in Municipal Court. I was chief prosecutor for 3 years, prosecuting for Wilmington, Sabina, Blanchester, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ohio State Patrol. Governor Mike DeWine appointed me Judge of the Clinton County Municipal Court on March 20, 2023.
Please explain your judicial philosophy. I believe that the United States Constitution means the same today as it did in 1791. I also believe that the laws as they come from that document and the General Assembly are what will guide me in all decisions – it is not my job to determine what the law should be, I will interpret, not be an activist. I believe in Equal Justice Under Law where everyone who comes into my Court will be treated the same. I believe in courage, integrity, character, ethics, respect, and a judicial temperament that includes impartiality and protecting the rights of all who will come before me. I have the experience and courage to apply the overriding purpose of sentencing and that is to protect the people from offenders that have been convicted beyond a reasonable doubt.
How will you balance being an independent judge and an elected official? It is imperative that a judge maintain his independence, which is what makes our system work. I have not had a problem telling officers when I believe they were wrong. Throughout my career, I have not had a problem looking at the fairness of a case. My rulings and decisions will come from what I hear in Court and in reviewing the law.
Why should citizens vote for you as municipal court judge? I have been a full-time prosecutor in Clinton County Municipal Court since December 2019. Prior to that time, I was a full-time public sector practitioner. I have handled cases from failing to tag a dog to asking the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to allow the State to carry out a death sentence. It is not a scare tactic, but real-life Clinton County, we have some problems. From what I have heard during the campaign from Blanchester to Sabina, from Wilmington to New Vienna, from Clarksville to Port William, people are concerned with their safety. I believe the Court needs to take a new approach by holding those who injure, steal or invade our properties accountable. They will be serving longer jail sentences and upon their release, will be placed on supervised probation with the requirement that they find and maintain gainful/legal employment. I will sentence to Protect the People.