CONNEAUT — Conneaut Law Director David Schroeder has been appointed Ashtabula County Western County Court judge by Gov. John Kasich, officials said.
Schroeder will begin his tenure on the bench March 18, according to a statement from the governor’s office. He must run in November 2014 to keep the seat for the full term, which ends Dec. 31, 2016.
In the meantime, Schroeder must step down as law director, a position he has held since April 2010, he said Monday. “I cannot stay as law director,” he said.
There is a chance, however, Schroeder could continue to do legal work in some capacity for the city. The Western County position is part time and judges are permitted to maintain a practice. Conneaut City Council called a special meeting late Monday afternoon to discuss in executive session options regarding the position.
At the closed-door session, Council President Tom Udell said council asked the administration to give members a list of options on how to handle the situation.
Schroeder said he would like to remain with the city’s legal department. “I hope to be staying in some capacity, or at least assist during the transition process,” he said.
Conneaut’s assistant law director, Carly Prather, was hired two years ago. She is a 2002 Conneaut High School graduate.
Schroeder was one of three people recommended by the county’s Republican Party to succeed Richard Stevens, who officially retired at the end of last year after many years of service. Schroeder and the other two nominees were interviewed by Kasich’s chief legal counsel and others two weeks ago, he said.
Schroeder, who has practiced law for more than 30 years, said he is excited about the opportunity. “It is every lawyer’s dream” to conclude their career on the bench, he said.
Conneaut City Manager Tim Eggleston confirmed Monday afternoon that Schroeder wants to continue working for the city and is researching any ethical issues. “I’m very happy (Schroeder) got the appointment and I hope everything works out for him,” Eggleston said.