Trumbull County magistrate headed to Indiana to be administrative law judge

Staff report


Atty. Jason Earnhart, a magistrate in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court since 2007 and an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor for seven years before that, is leaving to become a U.S. administrative law judge in Valparaiso, Ind.

Earnhart will handle disability adjudication and review cases for the Social Security Administration and will begin work Sept. 22. He will remain a magistrate through Sept. 19.

As magistrate, he has worked for Common Pleas Court judges W. Wyatt McKay and Peter Kontos, presiding over civil trials, mediating cases and doing legal writing for the judges.

Before that, the Niles resident and Hartford Township native gave legal advice to various county offices, such as the treasurer and board of health, and was legal adviser to the county commissioners.

He also is the grandson of Mitchell F. Shaker, who died in 2012 at age 90 after serving as common pleas court judge and before that was a top leader in the county Democratic Party.

Earnhart said he and his wife are selling his grandfather’s house in Niles, and they aren’t planning to return to Trumbull County.

His new position is a lifetime appointment, and the nearest Social Security Disability judge is in the Cleveland area, he said.

The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review has 168 hearing offices in the U.S. where administrative law judges have hearings and make decisions on appealed agency determinations, according to the Social Security Administration’s website.

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