Eliason Takes Out Candidacy Petitions For Athens Law Director Position

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Chief City Prosecutor Lisa Eliason has taken out petitions to be a Democratic candidate in the 2015 primary election for Athens law director.

The term she will be seeking begins Jan. 1, 2016, but Eliason said she will seek appointment to the position this February when Law Director Pat Lang resigns to become an Athens County Common Pleas Court judge.

Lang, a Democrat, was elected last month to the judgeship now held by L. Alan Goldsberry, who is retiring and whose term expires Feb. 8.

"It's really the capstone of my career," Eliason said of the law director's position. "I've been city prosecutor for 21 years."

Eliason was appointed prosecutor in 1990 by then-law director Garry Hunter and again in 2008 by Lang. In a news release announcing her candidacy, Eliason said she has appeared in court thousands of times, tried hundreds of cases to the bench and dozens of cases to juries.

In addition to prosecuting cases, Eliason has assisted both Hunter and Lang in civil work of the city, including civil complaints, lawsuits and controversies in which the city was a party.

In the news release, Eliason said she believes that her experience has prepared her to work with city officials as their legal adviser. She said it is important to have an attorney who has worked with and understands the functions of city government to serve as law director.

If elected to the postion, she would be the first female attorney elected to a legal position in Athens County.

She is a 1976 graduate of Ohio University and a 1987 graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law.

When Lang resigns to be come judge, the law director's position will become vacant on Feb. 9. Mayor Paul Wiehl, also a Democrat, can appoint an acting law director until the vacancy is filled by the Athens County Democratic Central Committee. Eliason said she will seek the appointment from Wiehl and the committee.

County Democratic Chairman Alan Trout said the party's appointment will be made by Central Committee members who reside in the city of Athens. Trout said he knows of no one else who has expressed interest in the appointment.