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Judge is selected for open position



Published: Fri, June 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The incoming judge has never run for public office.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

LISBON -- A Columbiana County Common Pleas Court magistrate has been appointed to a vacant county municipal court judicial position.

Gov. Bob Taft selected Carol Ann Robb of New Waterford, a domestic relations magistrate since 2001, to the post vacated June 1 by the retirement of Judge Robert C. Roberts.

Robb's appointment begins Monday.

When Judge Roberts retired and moved out of the area, Columbiana County Republican precinct committee members recommended three candidates to succeed him on a short-term basis.

Besides Robb, the two others recommended by the precinct committee were Robert Guehl, an ex-Salem city law director, and Don Humphrey Jr. of Kensington, a county public defender and an ex-county commissioner. No one else sought the appointment.

Major considerations by the governor's office in appointing someone to vacant elected positions are their qualifications, experience and ability to get elected.

Guehl has lost races for county court judge and county prosecutor. Humphrey was appointed to the commissioner's position, and lost a bid to retain the seat. Robb has never run for political office.

Monday was the filing deadline to run for the unexpired judicial term in the Nov. 8 general election. Because Taft hadn't made a decision by then, the three Republican finalists filed to run for the seat.

Two others interested

Guehl intends to withdraw from the race, and Robb would have withdrawn if she wasn't appointed. Humphrey plans to run in November.

Also filing for the judicial seat were Virginia Barborak of Salem, an assistant county prosecutor, and K. Bret Apple of Salem, a former county court judge.

Robb's appointment would last until the results of the Nov. 8 general election are certified by the county board of elections. That process usually takes place about two weeks after Election Day.

The winner of the November election would fill the remainder of Judge Roberts' term, which expires Jan. 1, 2008.

Robb's appointment drew praise from Jerry Ward, Columbiana County Republican chairman.

"She's intelligent and has experience as a magistrate," he said. "I think she'll do a fine job as judge."

At a May 25 GOP meeting, precinct committee members voted to endorse the governor's appointee in the general election, Ward said.

How it's set up

Columbiana County had three part-time county court judges, one each in Lisbon, Salem and East Palestine. In 2001, the county went to two full-time municipal courts in Salem and Lisbon.

Also in 2001, Judge Roberts ran unopposed for a six-year term, and Judge Mark Frost defeated Apple for the other six-year term. The two judges preside over cases in 16 townships.

There is also a municipal court judge in East Liverpool with jurisdiction in that city, and in Liverpool and St. Clair townships.

Before becoming a magistrate, Robb was vice president and secretary of C & amp;K Petroleum Products Inc. and Affiliates, and an attorney.

She is a graduate of the University of Akron School of Law, and holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Youngstown State University.

skolnick@vindy.com




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