H:\PROGRAMS\FIS301.FRXVOTE FOR NO MORE THAN 1 - TERM COMM 01/01/22The Stow Municipal Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor and traffic offenses committed within its geographical boundaries and civil cases in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $15,000. The Court handles about 20,000 cases per year.The State of Ohio has authorized two judges in this Court. Both are elected to six year terms. The Stow Municipal Court also has a full-time Magistrate.The Court serves sixteen communities in northern Summit Countyincluding Boston Heights, Boston Township, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Macedonia, Munroe Falls, Northfield, Northfield Center Township, Peninsula, Reminderville, Sagamore Hills, Silver Lake, Stow, Tallmadge, Twinsburgand Twinsburg Township.
Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Juris Doctor 1994, Bowling Green State University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration 1990
Judge - Stow Municipal Court 2003 to Present, Judicial Attorney - Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Assistant Prosecutor - Summit County Prosecutor's Office, Associate - private practice, Attorney Advisor - Social Security Administration, Claims Examiner - Department of Veterans Affairs
Previous public office
Appointed as Municipal Court Judge in March 2003, Elected as Municipal Court Judge in November 2003, Re-elected as Municipal Court Judge in 2009 and 2015
Experience plus involvement is what makes me the best candidate for judge. First, I have 18 years of experience as a judge in the Stow Municipal Court. Prior to that I worked with a judge and as an assistant prosecutor. I created and for 11 years presided over the mental health court. This court is especially necessary as there has been a mental health crisis since the pandemic. My involvement also includes being active in the community. I am a member and past president of Rotary and a member of two local chambers of commerce. I frequently speak at the schools, Buckeye Girls State and mentor students. As a judge, it is important to understand the issues facing our community and to be a part of educating and helping address those issues. That is what I offer the voters as I seek re-election this November.
During my next term as judge, there are goals I would like to accomplish. First, Stow Municipal Court needs a drug court. Substance abuse and overdoses have been on the rise especially over the last year and a half. Our court needs to offer defendants struggling with addiction intensive treatment along with judicial intervention. Establishing a drug court is a big undertaking requiring a committed judge. I am willing to take on this project in addition to my mental health court because it is that important. Secondly, I would like to expand services for participants in our mental health court. Due to COVID, many resources were reduced or eliminated at a time they were greatly needed. It is my goal to safely re-establish those resources. Both goals can be attained through grant funding. Once accomplished, the two largest issues facing our court can be thoroughly addressed.
As presiding judge of the mental health court, I have gained knowledge in the areas of mental health and substance abuse something not learned in law school. I completed Crisis Intervention Training and now I am an instructor. I am involved with the local mental health agencies. A few years ago, this country saw the largest opioid epidemic. Then we confronted a pandemic and those numbers rose again. The knowledge I have gained not only benefits those people that enter the court, but I have also shared this knowledge in our community. The objective is education and prevention before judicial intervention is required. By speaking to students in the schools and local organizations about substance abuse, mental health and the judicial system, that objective is being achieved. Further, I sit on advisory committees for Drug Safe Hudson, SMF ROX program, and steering committee for the Boy Scouts. To me, the role of a judge extends beyond the courtroom and into the community.
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University of Akron School of Law, Juris Doctor 2010; Ashland University, Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education 2007
Assistant Prosecutor, Summit County Prosecutor's Office. Currently serving as an Administrative Hearing Officer with the Child Support Enforcement Agency. Staff Attorney, Stark County Public Defender Office. Staff Attorney, Baker and Hostetler, LLP.
Previous public office
Democratic Precinct Committee Person 2016-2020.
I am the best person for the job because I have the temperament required to be a judge and to hear cases in an impartial, competent, and diligent manner. I have been a dedicated public servant for the last 10 years and want to continue to serve the public. As a community member, a wife, and a mother of two young children, my top priority is keeping our community safe. The municipal court is often the first experience offenders have with the justice system. I firmly believe that the way in which the court handles an offender's first appearance has a lasting impact on whether that individual will reoffend, and thus a lasting impact on the safety of our community. I have seen first-hand how the justice system can further the goal of creating a safer community and, unfortunately, have seen the system work in such a manner that does not serve this goal. I would bring with me all of this experience to help provide the safest community possible to our residents.
The last 18 months have highlighted that drug abuse is still very much an issue in this nation, as well as within the court’s jurisdiction. If elected, the first issue I would address would be to create a drug court. A drug court would provide access to resources likely not otherwise available to those battling addiction who find themselves in court. This would benefit both the individuals as well as the community in helping combat addiction and reduce repeat offenders. Secondly, domestic violence is another issue that has increased throughout the course of the pandemic, and is always an important issue to address with diligence. I believe that partnering with local resources to obtain access to intensive treatment should be implemented to reduce recidivism in these especially difficult cases.
I have the legal experience needed to handle all the different matters that come before the court. I have worked both as a public defender, representing individuals at the municipal court level, and as a prosecutor, representing the state of Ohio in all divisions of the court of common pleas in both civil and criminal matters. Further, in my current role as an Administrative Hearing Officer, I handle a multitude of cases and topics, making decisions daily in a fair and impartial manner. All this experience, along with my initial training as an educator, have given me the skills and abilities to serve as Judge of the Stow Municipal Court. I would provide the unique perspective to the bench of having served as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, and a distinct outlook on how to provide a safe community to all our residents.