- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -

« News Home

Betras on replacing judge: Stop in the name of efficiency

Published: Thu, May 24, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Elise Franco



Local politicians are torn over the issue of a soon-to-be-vacant judge’s position.

David Betras, Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman, sent a letter to Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s office on Tuesday urging him not to fill a vacancy that Youngstown Municipal Judge Robert Douglas will create when he retires in August.

Judge Douglas announced in April that he will retire on Aug. 1, more than a year before his final term expires on Dec. 31, 2013.

Under state law, Kasich, a Republican, will appoint a judge to finish out Judge Douglas’ unexpired term. County Republican Chairman Mark Munroe said Kasich asked him to filter three applicants to the governor’s office.

“There’s a well-defined process for how these vacancies are filled. The governor’s office has asked the county party to ask for applicants who are interested,” he said. “Following that, we’ll interview, screen and forward three names to the governor’s office for their consideration.”

Betras said filling the vacancy is premature in light of a proposed consolidation or reconfiguration of the county’s lower-level court system.

“My fear is if someone gets that seat they’ll have ownership of that seat and we’ll never be able to re-configure our lower courts,” he said. “Now is a good time to pause and reflect on if we really want to fill it.”

Rob Nichols, spokesman for the governor’s office, said the Ohio Constitution requires Kasich to appoint someone to the position.

“No one has a greater commitment to make government run more efficiently than Gov. Kasich, but until the legislators abolish that bench the Ohio Constitution requires us to fill that seat.”

A bar association-sponsored study done by the National Center for State Courts of Williamsburg, Va., recommended administrative and location consolidation of Mahoning County’s lower courts.

Betras said he expects the bar association to have a recommendation about consolidation ready to give to local legislators soon. He said he’d like the governor to hold off on making a decision until that time.

“I do not believe that the city of Youngstown needs three full-time judges, just as it’s my belief that Campbell and Struthers don’t need one part-time judge each,” he said, “We can use our resources more judiciously.”

Munroe said the elimination of a judge position has to come from local lawmakers.

“This is not an issue for the governor or a party chairman to solve. It’s the responsibility of local elected legislators to address,” he said. “In the [consolidation] study done some months ago, not one of the 13 recommendations called for the elimination of a judge in Youngstown Municipal Court.”


1palbubba(809 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

As a "D" I can tell you that I have looked and didn't see ANY leadership.

Suggest removal:

2republicanRick(1736 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Did hell freeze over?

Dave Betras actually had a good idea in limiting government expenses...and no press conference was called!

Suggest removal:

3Westsider(269 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree that the seat does not need to be filled - but what I find most amusing is that if it had been a Democrat retiring, Betras wouldn't have said a word.

Suggest removal:

4biggee(43 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Not only would he not have said a word...he would have had his list prepared if strickland or another dem were in office. The voters in this area need to get smart and look where we are as a community and why. Other parts of this great state have recovered and in fact never sank to the lows we have experienced. The good people of the valley are not to blame. It is the lack of leadership we have had for more than thirty years. Any recent gains from the discovery of gas and oil were God given {hope we don't screw this up}. The elected officails will line up for the credit from these assets while all the while trying to figure a way to keep saying they have brought us these good fortunes..{recently one has said he feed the hungry and clothed the naked}

Suggest removal:

5TylerDurden(367 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

The state constituton mandates that the governor fill the position if/when the judge retires. This is not up for debate unless the legislature changes the constitution.

Speculating on whether or not the need is there or if there will be restructuring is moot.

Betras is playing politics, nothing more.
Keep in mind, however, if you are bitten by a dog, he is your man. A rogue in the courtroom. If you advertise your law practice during Maury Povich, you are a true asset to the bar and citizens everywhere.

Suggest removal:


HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes