Education: Graduate, Port Clinton High School; B.A. History, College of Wooster; J.D., cum laude, Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Current Occupation: Attorney, Wood County Prosecutor’s Office, Civil Division Chief
Residency: Perrysburg Township
1) What changes would you make as judge?
The citizens of this community expect their court to be a stable and consistent entity; and therefore I believe it would be irresponsible to change things that have made the Perrysburg Municipal Court so successful over the years. I do not believe time and money should be spent fixing what isn't broken. Therefore, I will continue the seamless communication between the judge and local law enforcement; I will ensure the court docket is managed properly; and I will continue the unique outreach programming such as Explorer Post Mock Trial that teaches our young future leaders about the law and the court's dynamics.
Again, many things will stay the same. However, I do plan to expand the relationship between the court and the public by holding “state of the court” addresses so the public knows how their money is being spent and how justice is being served. I also intend to leverage and enhance technology to provide better access to court information and I will explore establishing specialized dockets in specific areas such as veterans’ services, domestic violence, and mental health.
2. As you campaign, what are you learning from the voters about their concerns about the court?
People seem to be most concerned with judicial activism - referring to judges who legislate from the bench by discarding current law to fit the circumstances of each case. I feel very strongly that a judge's job is not to legislate from the bench - not to change existing law - but rather to uphold the law as it is written, apply the law to the facts of each case and render fair and impartial justice to all who come before the court. This is the type of judge I will be: someone who displays strict respect and adherence to the rule of law, as it is written. Fiscal responsibility is also a concern expressed to me; and to this point, you have my commitment that I will spend the court's budget responsibly. The court's funds are the people's funds, and the people deserve a judge who understands how to work within the constraints of a budget.
3. Name a specific experience from the past that shows your ability to be a judge.
My experience as Civil Division Chief in the Wood Co. Prosecutor’s Office has given me the opportunity to view the law from a more nuanced viewpoint. Civil cases, unlike other areas of law, are often times not black and white. Instead they contain subtle facts that determine the outcome of a case. During my time with the Prosecutor’s Office, I have come to realize that a Civil Prosecutor has to have a calm, impartial temperament; has to consider a multitude of facts and evidence with an open mind; and absolutely must seek the administration of justice in a fair and impartial manner. And so I believe that the complexities of civil law have prepared me to be a judge – to be able to consider multiple perspectives in a case and, without bias, seek the truth and render a just decision. A good judge needs to be able to do this and – thanks to my well-rounded experience – I believe that I will be well prepared to do the same.
4. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the courtroom?
Currently, my interests outside the courtroom involve supporting our three teenage children who are involved in various sports and school activities. I also enjoy being on the steering committee for the annual Wood County Youth Olympics and on the Board of the Fort Meigs YMCA. When I do find time for myself, I enjoy cooking, gardening, and collapsing in front of a good movie.
5. In 25 words or less, why should voters elect you as the new judge?
I bring a well-rounded legal background and experience in both public and private sector law; strict conservative values; and a dedication to this community.