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Cleveland Municipal Court Judge, unexpired term ending 1/1/2020

Term: 2 yearsSalary: $125,850Heather McCullough, Judge Ronald J.H. O'Leary (appointed in 2017 following the death of Judge Raymond L. Planka), and attorney W. Moná Scott are running for the unexpired term ending 1/1/2020.
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  • Heather McCollough

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    Ronald J.H. O'Leary Candidate, Cleveland Municipal Court Judge

  • W. Moná Scott

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Biographical Information

List your judicial experience (courts and years).

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Age 49
Education Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (B.A., M.A.); Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D.)
Residence municipality Cleveland
Work experience Judge, Cleveland Municipal Court, Housing Division, 4/2017-present; Director, City of Cleveland Department of Building and Housing, 2014-2017; Assistant Director, City of Cleveland Department of Building and Housing, 2006-2014; Adjunct Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2006-2014; Associate Attorney, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, 1/2006-10/2006; Judge, Cleveland Municipal Court, 9/2005-12/2005; Chief Assistant Director of Law, City of Cleveland Department of Law, 1999-2005; Assistant Prosecutor, City of Cleveland Department of Law, 1998-1999.
Affiliations St. Patrick’s Church (Bridge Avenue) Cleveland; Northeast Ohio Law Director’s Association
Endorsements Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council; AFSCME Ohio Council 8; Laborers’ Local 310; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Auto Mechanics Local 1363; Local 93 of the International Association of Firefighters; Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association; North Shore Federation of Labor AFL-CIO; The Justinian Forum; Cleveland American Middle Eastern Organization; International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 756
Bar Association Ratings Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association: Excellent; Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Bar Association: Excellent; Norman S. Minor Bar Association: Excellent; http://www.judge4yourself.com
Cleveland Municipal Court (General Division): September 2005- December 2005 Cleveland Municipal Court (Housing Division): April 2017- present I first served as a Judge in the Cleveland Municipal Court from September 2005 through December 2005. I now serve as the Judge of the Housing Division of the Cleveland Municipal Court (more commonly known as “Housing Court”), a position to which I was appointed in April 2017, after the death of Judge Raymond L. Pianka. As the sole Judge of the Housing Court, I am responsible for the adjudication and disposition of the 12,000 to 15,000 civil and criminal cases filed in the Housing Court each year. The Housing Court has exclusive jurisdiction within the City of Cleveland and the Village of Bratenahl over civil and criminal actions to enforce local building, housing, air pollution, sanitation, health, fire, zoning, and safety codes applicable residential and commercial structures, as well as exclusive jurisdiction over landlord-tenant matters and certain actions brought to abate public nuisances. This broad subject matter jurisdiction, combined with its unlimited monetary jurisdiction (unusual for a municipal court), and its incidental jurisdiction (which enables the Court to decide all claims in any case properly brought in the Court), give the Housing Court the tools we need to fulfill the Court’s purpose as a problem-solving court, and improve the quality of daily life for the residents of the City of Cleveland.
As an assistant prosecutor, then Chief Assistant Director of Law for the City of Cleveland, I routinely reviewed evidence, analyzed possible courses of action, determined the type of civil action or criminal charges to file, and then prosecuted those actions to their conclusion. The majority of the cases I brought or approved as the Chief Assistant Director of Law for Code Enforcement were brought in the Housing Court. I am well-versed in the types of cases and claims brought in the Housing Court, and experienced in assessing the validity of those claims. My service as Assistant Director and then Director of the City of Cleveland’s Department of Building and Housing reinforced my knowledge of the City’s Codified Ordinances, many of which serve as the basis for Housing Court actions. During my tenure with the Department of Building and Housing, I also gained knowledge about the City’s processes involving demolition, permitting, plans approval, etc., as well as the programs available to assist residents in repairing and maintaining their properties. This information is invaluable to me as the Housing Court Judge, as I work to encourage property owners to comply with City codes. The Housing Court Judge is responsible for a staff of approximately fifty employees, and so must be capable of managing a large staff and routinely addressing personnel issues. Read more at judicialvotescount.org.
I have dedicated my career to public service. Since I joined the Cleveland Department of Law in 1998, I have worked to make Cleveland a better place. Whether prosecuting domestic violence, drunk driving and other crimes, or through improving the City’s building stock and closing nuisances like drug houses, I have applied my legal and management skills to making Cleveland a safe place in which to live, work, and raise a family, enjoying all that the City has to offer. Cleveland Housing Court is a fitting place for me to apply my knowledge and experience–and continue my public service–as a judge. Judges must apply the law impartially while understanding the people who appear before the bench. My experience as a prosecutor, municipal attorney, judge, and municipal administrator has given me the perspective to understand the challenges that face Cleveland and its residents. I can continue to serve by being a judge who knows the law and understands the people who appear before him. I am one of the many people to who greatly admired the passion that Judge Ray Pianka brought to the Housing Court. I had the opportunity to work with Judge Pianka for many years. As Cleveland’s Chief Assistant Director of Law, I prosecuted criminal and civil cases before him; as the Director of Building and Housing, we frequently conferred about policies and projects. Read more at judicialvotescount.org.
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