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LIBERTY Asst. U.S. attorney resigns to run for judge



Published: Wed, January 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The sitting judge is not permitted to seek re-election because of judicial age restrictions.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

LIBERTY -- Prohibited from running for office while holding the job of assistant U.S. attorney, Cynthia Rice has resigned to seek a seat on the 11th District Court of Appeals.

Rice, of Brookfield Township, 44, is running in the Nov. 5 general election as a Democrat for the position currently held by Judge Ralph A. Nader. Judge Nader, a Warren Democrat, is not permitted to seek re-election because of judicial age restrictions. His term on the court expires Feb. 9, 2003.

"The average citizen comes to the court of appeals seeking justice," Rice said during a Tuesday press conference at the Metroplex to announce her candidacy. "Because they believe an injustice has occurred, it is critical that their case be reviewed thoroughly and quickly, so that if a wrong has been committed, it can be corrected."

This is the first time Rice, the wife of Trumbull County Eastern District Court Judge Ron Rice, has run for office.

Work in Youngstown: Rice spent more than two years as the assistant U.S. attorney in Youngstown, prosecuting felony criminal cases including drug trafficking, bank robbery and weapons violations.

Before that, she spent eight years as an assistant criminal prosecutor with the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office, including two years as the criminal division's first assistant prosecutor. She also spent a year as chief counsel of the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force, which coordinated joint criminal investigations between Mahoning and Trumbull counties prosecutors' offices and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Resigned: Rice resigned from the U.S. Attorney's Office a few weeks ago in anticipation of running for the court of appeals seat. She is not permitted to seek the elected office while serving as an assistant U.S. attorney.

Rice is going back this week to the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office as a part-time assistant prosecutor assigned to the Mahoning Valley Drug Task Force and plans to stay there throughout the campaign.

The 11th District Court of Appeals' jurisdiction includes Trumbull, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Portage counties.

skolnick@vindy.com




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