The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 22, 2012

Western County judge to step down

Long-time Western County Court Judge Richard Stevens will step down from the bench at the end of this year, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Stevens will retire almost 30 years to the day he was appointed to the post by then-governor James Rhodes.

Ashtabula County Commissioner Daniel Claypool on Wednesday confirmed Stevens recently submitted a letter to commissioners stating he will depart at the end of December. One reason given was a desire to devote more time to his private law practice, Claypool said. The county’s Eastern and Western court judgeships are part-time positions, and office-holders are permitted to maintain an outside practice.

Stevens could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday. He was elected to a new, six-year term in November 2010, according to Ashtabula County Board of Elections records. Stevens was unopposed in the election.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will appoint Stevens’ successor, said Charlie Frye, chairman of the Ashtabula County Republican Party. Local GOP leaders have contacted a governor liaison to explain the nomination process, Frye said.

“We’re waiting to get word from the governor’s office on the procedure,” he said.

It’s expected the party will submit three names to Kasich for consideration, but the governor is free to explore other candidates, Frye said. “We’ll give him three names, but he can go a different route,” he said.

Stevens, a Jefferson native, was a teacher and construction worker when he decided to pursue his dream of attending law school. He graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1976 and set up a practice in Geneva. Stevens succeeded Robert Webb as Western County Court judge, and officially began his duties on Dec. 30, 1982. He was 35 years old at the time.

Frye praised Stevens as a “judge who is well-respected across party lines.”

Two Republicans sought law-related jobs in the Nov. 6 election could be among the GOP’s recommendations. Gary Pasqualone of Geneva challenged incumbent Eastern County Court Judge Robert Wynn, and was defeated by just 133 unofficial votes. There’s a good chance an automatic recount could occur after the Ashtabula County Board of Elections certifies the official results on Tuesday.

Another possible nominee could be David Schroeder, Conneaut’s law director who unsuccessfully tried to unseat County Prosecutor Thomas Sartini earlier this month. Schroeder was beaten by 1,369 unofficial votes.

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!