Franklin County Municipal Court Judge, commencing Jan 1

In the race for Franklin County Municipal Court Judge, with a term beginning Jan. 1, 2017, three candidates will appear on the ballot.Read more:Candidates in Franklin County Municipal Court races tout their strengthsDispatch endorsement
Choose two candidates from below to compare.
  • Candidate picture

    George W. Leach Attorney

  • Candidate picture

    Andrea C. Peeples Municipal Court Judge

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    Edward Lewis Pfau Lawyer

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Biographical Information

Why are you the best-qualified candidate for the judgeship you are seeking?

In general, what is your judicial philosophy?

What else would you like to say to voters?

Age 58
Education BA - Pol. Science U. of Akron Elementary Education (K-8) Certification from Ohio Dominican College Thomas Cooley Law
Family Father of twins.
Religion Protestant
Campaign website http://georgeleachforjudge
In Franklin County and surrounding counties, I have represented hundreds of clients in Municipal courts where they faced charges such as OVI offenses, domestic violence, assaults, and other traffic and civil matters.

I am one of a handful of Franklin County court appointed attorneys qualified to represent juvenile offenders as they defend against transfer to the adult criminal justice system as part of the bind-over process.

As part of my private practice, I have represented hundreds of clients as they entered Domestic Relations Court with matters such as Divorce or Dissolution of their marriages, and I have assisted parents with custody matters and Civil Protection Orders.

I have represented many business owners as they formulate companies and sometimes litigate contractual issues. Prior to obtaining my law degree, I acquired extensive business experience in the private retail sector and as Deputy Director of Purchasing with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
As I have traveled the State in my private practice, I have seen and experienced varying degrees of success in how Municipal court judges perform their duties. It is my belief that a Municipal Court Judge can no longer ignore the “where from, and the “how to” when dealing with Defendants and victims.

As an example, I would look to the current opioid crisis in our State and county and point out that many of the defendants and victims of this crisis and resulting crimes put families in two separate court systems simultaneously. Affected families find themselves before the Franklin County Domestic Relations division and in the Franklin County Municipal Court. As an attorney/candidate practicing in both divisions (adult and Juvenile) and the Common Pleas Criminal division, I am experienced with negotiating and forging a resolution that helps families as defendants and victims.

I believe as a Municipal court Judge it is important to be open minded when administering justice.
This is the first time I have sought a Judicial position. Up to now I have been in private practice for sixteen (16) years representing private and court appointed clients throughout many Ohio counties. I have practiced in Federal, State, and Municipal counts, and have extensive courtroom Jury and Bench trial experience.

If elected to the Franklin County Municipal Court bench I have the in-depth knowledge and understanding of how the three (3) courts interact (via Defendants and Victims) and the experience working resolutions that address all concerns of defendants and victims and the goals and expectations they have of our justice system.

As the largest and busiest Municipal Court in Ohio, our Judges must be informed and responsive to administering justice that is sensitive to the make-up of the defendants and victims and to the full circle of service providers in and around the judiciary.

Age 48
Education B.A. Miami University Oxford Ohio J.D. The Ohio State University College of Law
Experience Franklin County Public Defender, City Prosecutor City of Columbus, Franklin County Juvenile Prosecutor, Franklin County Grand Jury, Franklin County Grand Jury, City Attorney Civil Division, Municipal Court Judge 11+ years
Family Husband is a retired Sergeant Ohio State Highway Patrol. I have an adult stepdaughter and a teenage son
Religion Christian
Campaign website
Campaign email
Twitter @judge_peeples
I have almost 12 years of experience as a Judge in Franklin County Municipal Court; I accumulated experience relevant to Municipal Court before I initially sought the position. With my experience as both a public defender and a prosecutor for the City of Columbus and Franklin County, I have prosecuted or defended most of the cases that come before me as a judge. I continue to expand my knowledge by taking continuing legal education classes that relate specifically to municipal court. I was selected to participate by the Ohio Supreme Court in advisory committees which expand awareness of options available around the state to improve the court. I personally know 20+ years of history with this court and look forward to continuing to grow and change to serve the needs of the people who come in contact with the court
Without regard to race, culture, gender or financial status people in court should be given the same opportunities at justice. Although we call cases by their case numbers my philosophy is that people are the reason that we are in court. In my court the name on the file is just the beginning. A case is made up of the accused, a victim and witnesses. The fairest decisions are made when the court considers all the relevant information.
Please exercise your right to vote. If you leave a blank spot on the ballot you have given up an opportunity to express yourself
Age 54
Education Univesity of Cincinnati, BA in Political Science; Capital University; JD.
Experience 26 years as a trial lawyer, averaging 3 to 5 court appearances a week, totaling an excess of 4,000 individual and unique legal experiences.
Family Single gay man. Parents deceased.
Religion Buddhist
Twitter None
After 26 years, representing thousands of clients, I believe that my experience qualifies me to serve as a judge. In my legal career, I have had the privilege of developing relevant experience through my practice, which includes representing individuals in various state court proceedings such as criminal, felony, misdemeanor, civil, domestic, juvenile, probate, and appellate matters; serving as a Guardian ad Litem for hundreds of children, handling multiple abuse and dependency cases, probating estates, adoptions, preparing wills and trusts, pursuing and recovering claims for victims of crime.

I believe that my experience as a practicing attorney equips me with a unique perspective and understanding with regards to the complexity of our large and powerful post-modern court system. And as a former professor of criminology at Columbus State, I respect and understand the underlying social dynamics that drive much of the criminal matters before our court system.
I consider a judicial philosophy to be the understanding that one develops over many years of experience in the judicial system. These experiences, combined with hard work, active listening, and empathy are the backbone of positive judicial outcomes.

I am confident that my many years of experience practicing before the court that I now seek to lead has equipped me with the knowledge that I will need in order to efficiently and fairly address any problems and conflicts brought before the court.
My pledge to the voters of Franklin County is that I will sincerely and compassionately carry out the serious responsibility of being a judge in Franklin County's Municipal Court. A judge has more impact on the diverse lives of our community's citizens than any other elected office.

I love my adopted City of Columbus and am grateful for the thoughtful support and consideration that a great many voters have shown me throughout my campaign. Columbus has embraced me as a gay man, lawyer, and valued member of its community. I thank you for your consideration of my candidacy and qualifications, and look forward to serving you with honor and distinction.
Voter's Guide