Judge Steps Down As Chairman Of Task Force

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Common Pleas Court Judge George McCarthy has stepped down as chairman of the Athens County Domestic Violence Task Force, a position he has held for about 12 years.

In a letter to task force members, McCarthy said he wishes to remain a member of the group.

"… I think it is appropriate to step down from being chairperson since I am now a judge," wrote McCarthy, who was appointed to the bench last year to replace Judge Michael Ward, who had retired.

"I am happy to remain a member of the task force, as the Athens Common Pleas Court has been a part of the committee from the beginning."

Prior to serving as chairman, McCarthy was a member of the task force.

According to the letter, in 1994 McCarthy helped draft new policies for law enforcement response to domestic violence calls, with those policies ultimately being adopted by Athens and Ohio University police, the sheriff's office and the Athens and Athens County prosecutor's offices.

Over the years the task force has been involved in domestic violence policy, program and legal issues, as well as serving as a forum for agencies to share information and coordinate services.

McCarthy appointed Molly Burchfield, a domestic violence specialist, as interim chairwoman.