Scioto County Judge To Lead Common Pleas Judges In 2013

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Scioto County Judge Howard H. Harcha III will serve as president of the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association for 2013 after his election Thursday during the annual winter conference.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor administered the oath of office to Judge Harcha and the other judges elected to leadership positions. She also spoke briefly and assisted in handing out 13 Golden Gavel awards to retiring judges with at least 10 years of service on the bench.

Nearing the completion of his 22nd year on the bench in Portsmouth, Judge Harcha served one six-year term in Portsmouth Municipal Court. Currently serving his third term on the common pleas bench, he was elected in 1996 and has been re-elected twice.

“I consider it an honor to serve the association, and I appreciate the trust my fellow judges have placed in me to serve as their president,” Judge Harcha said.

Additional association officers include:

Darke County Judge Jonathan P. Hein, president-elect

Franklin County Judge Guy L. Reece II, first vice president

Licking County Judge Thomas M. Marcelain, second vice president

Cuyahoga County Judge David T. Matia, third vice president

Lucas County Judge Linda J. Jennings, fourth vice president

Montgomery County Judge Barbara P. Gorman, secretary

Wayne County Judge Mark K. Wiest, treasurer

Trumbull County Judge Peter J. Kontos, past president

The Golden Gavel honorees include:

Franklin County Judge John F. Bender

Franklin County Judge John P. Bessey

Washington County Judge Susan E. Boyer

Warren County Judge Neal B. Bronson

Stark County Judge Charles E. Brown Jr.

Hamilton County Judge Dennis S. Helmick

Lucas County Judge James D. Jensen

Stark County Judge Lee Sinclair

Trumbull County Judge John M. Stuard

Cuyahoga County Judge Ronald Suster

Allen County Judge Richard K. Warren

Champaign County Judge Roger B. Wilson

Lorain County Judge Edward M. Zaleski

The common pleas judges association’s membership includes all general division judges of the state’s common pleas courts, and its mission is “to improve the law, the legal system and the effective administration of justice.”

Bret Crow is a writer for Court News Ohio.