Interim judge begins job in Newton Fall
The clerk of courts said she became concerned when she hadn't heard anything from the governor's office.
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NEWTON FALLS -- A retired judge from Kent Municipal Court began a temporary assignment Friday to fill the position left vacant with the retirement of Judge Thomas L. Old.
Though Judge Old has been on vacation for a couple of weeks, his last official day was Thursday, said Cathy Stoner, clerk of courts.
Stoner said she started getting concerned early last week when she had not heard from Gov. Bob Taft's office about who would be Judge Old's replacement, so she called the governor's office and was advised to secure a temporary replacement from the Ohio Supreme Court.
"I wanted to make sure we had someone to cover the court," Stoner said.
The governor's office said the governor was not ready to make the appointment yet because the three candidates for the bench had not been interviewed.
The Supreme Court told Stoner that Judge Perry G. Dickinson had accepted the position effective Aug. 24 and that he would serve the months of September and October. She said that she was not given a time frame for Judge Dickinson's replacement to be appointed, but that she believes the new judge will begin work in November.
Taft selects Judge Old's replacement because the judge was in just the first year of his four-year term. In the November 2007 election, someone will be elected to serve the last two years of the term.
Stoner said two visiting judges handled court matters the last two weeks of August: attorneys Phil Vigorito and Steve Moss.
Stoner said she met Judge Dickinson last week when he stopped in to fill out paperwork. "He seems like a very nice person," Stoner said, adding that he seemed excited to do the job.
The Trumbull County Republican Party recommended three Republicans to Taft: attorneys Larry Turner, Tracey Leslo and David Toepfer. Judge Old is a Democrat.
The judicial district covers Lordstown and Newton Falls and the townships of Newton, Braceville, Southington, Bristol, Farmington, Bloomfield and Mesopotamia.