The late Ted Klammer
who served as Lake
County Probate Court Judge will be missed by countless members of the
As the Probate Court judge since 2003, Klammer had
responsibility over matters such as a person’s estate, appointing guardians,
issuing marriage licenses and many other legal duties.
To keep the court operating, Ohio Supreme Court Chief
assigned retired Stark County Probate Court Judge R.R. Denny Clunk
to serve a three-month assignment. Sitting judges in the county Common Pleas
Court will also fill in when needed.
Ohio law states it will be the governor’s responsibility
to appoint a new judge, who must be a Lake County resident.
Klammer was a Democrat, Gov. John Kasich
is a Republican.
In all likelihood, the appointed judge would be a Republican and it’s quite
possible the person who fills the unexpired term would decide to run for a new
term during the November 2014 election.
The Lake County Republican Party will likely make some
recommendations to the governor, but ultimately it is Kasich’s choice.
There are several GOP attorney names floating around who
could be among those considered for a potential appointment by the governor.
What about Kirtland resident Jason Wuliger
, who was
appointed as Lake County Recorder by the county GOP last year after former
resigned? Wuliger is a former Lake County Juvenile Court
Perhaps Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Patton
, who also
is Willowick Council president, might be interested?
Geoffrey W. Weaver
ran for the Probate Court bench in
2002 as the Republican Party’s nominee against Klammer. Heidi M. Koenig
who has served as a Cuyahoga County magistrate, also ran in that November 2002
race as an independent candidate.
I think if Lake County Prosecutor Charles E.
were interested he could be picked, but I’m not sure that he
Other potential names I’ve heard are Lake County Probate
Court Magistrate Lora Lynne Stalnaker
; Assistant Lake County Prosecutors John O’Donnell
, who ran for Willoughby Municipal Court judge in November
2011; and Assistant Geauga County Prosecutor Mark Bartolotta
, who previously
served as a Lake County assistant prosecutor.
Another responsibility a Lake County Probate Court judge
has is to make appointments to the three-member Lake Metroparks Board of Park
Commissioners, who serve three-year terms.
Park commissioners now serving are Ellen Foley
, whose term expires Dec. 31; Dennis E. Eckert
term expires Dec. 31, 2014; and Frank J. Polivka
, whose term
expires Dec. 31, 2015.
It is worth noting that the unexpired term of Klammer runs
through Feb. 8, 2015.
So the person who is appointed by Kasich would likely
have the ability to reappoint or appoint new people for two park commissioner
People recently filing petitions with the Lake County
Elections Board were Ron Ely
for Wickliffe Council Ward 3, Bill Margalis
for Wickliffe mayor and John Plecnik
for Willoughby Hills Council at large for
the two-year term commencing Jan. 1.
has taken out petitions with the Lake
County Elections Board for Painesville Township trustee, Dan Hill
has taken them out for Timberlake Council.
To send information for this column, the deadline each
week is Wednesday at 5 p.m. Email or fax is preferred.
Concord Township Trustees Paul Malchesky
re-election fundraiser 5 to 7 p.m. April 1 at Harry Buffalo
in Painesville Township. See Malchesky, Galloway or Connie Luhta
n Dennis Morley
will host a kickoff
fundraiser for his Eastlake mayor campaign, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 17 at
Trader Jack’s Riverside Grille in Eastlake. See Donna Vaughn
or Barb Morley.
John Arthur Hutchison
Labels: John Kasich, Lake County Probate Court, Maureen O'Connor, R.R. Denny Clunk, Ted Klammer