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
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday