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« Brain food from the heartland

The unanswered knock of love,pt x: public lives/public pain-maureen

By Louie b. Free (Contact)


Published September 18, 2007

The Unanswered Knock of Love pt X: Public Lives/Public Pain-Maureen

Regular, in fact, irregular listeners to the show have heard my comments on former Mahoning Common Pleas Court Judge , Maureen Cronin's recent - *second*- DUI. This is a very sad situation-and obviously something is very, very wrong.

Yes, the first time, after her first DUI-Maureen was coming home-solo- from Mountaineer[horse race track and gambling slots], then State Senator/ Y-town Mayoral candidate, Bobby Hagan was on air w/ me-telling me about his family: "... My mother likes to go to Mountaineer once in awhile..." to which I responded : " Tell her not to get a ride home w/ Maureen Cronin..."-funny then, not now. I also spoke about how lucky Maureen was, as that police officer just may have saved her life, and/or the life or lives of others.

" A tough prosecutor-a tough judge" is what we've heard about Maureen's career.

I recall a number of years ago when Judge Cronin refused to 'go along to get along' w/ the other male judges in the signing of a court document. She, Maureen, stood alone, stood strong when some others signed to "...show unity in the Court of Common Pleas..." Maureen did what she thought was the correct thing to do-and I agreed, AND admired her courage in doing so. Maureen Cronin stood strong and stood alone----------but that was then, and this is now....

Now, former Judge Maureen Cronin stands alone in the Mahoning County Minimum Security Jail, serving out her five day sentence *alone*-alone again as she was driving home,drunk, in 2005 and earlier this month-alone, alone , alone.

I am worried about Maureen. This time no jokes.


Just a few weeks ago, WKBN-TV's Joe Bell asked me a question about former Mahoning County Prosecutor,James Philomena. James had served years in U.S.Federal Prison and in an Ohio State Penitentiary for "selling *justice*". Joe came to me because I had the only interview that James Philomena gave from the time he came out of prison-until the time of his death. Joe asked : "How do you think this community will remember Philomena"-now I am thinking of Maureen Cronin. How will Maureen's recent behavior reflect on how she's seen in the community and how she'll be remembered. Although Maureen didn't sell justice-she did commit an offense, twice, an offense that she was intolerant of, at least from the bench.


One painful, yet good lesson that 'trouble' teaches-is that when you are 'in trouble', most people you know run away from-instead of to you. I've experienced that, as have many others that I've spoken with. When we need people the most, often, they are hard to find. Over the last week, I've talked w/ folks who've brought the trouble on themselves, and those who've been innocent victims of others who have experienced this----oh yeah, the *good* lesson?---those that surround you, the one or many, that are still there during the storm and as the dust settles, and your REAL friends, your friends that are concerned about YOU, not how they'll *look* being seen or identified as being *WITH* you.

Many people made *pleas* in front of Judge Cronin over the years--now my plea to YOU, if you're a REAL friend of Maureen Cronin, you'll run TO her, not away from her. If she's ever needed you, it's NOW, as *my* fear for Maureen is not being seen in jail, in the newspaper or on TV, but when she takes a look at herself in the mirror, then her troubles will really begin, then she'll really need her friends.


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