Juris Doctor, The Capital University Law School, B.S. Criminal Justice, West Liberty State College
Elected City Attorney 2007, 2011, 2015;
Municipal Prosecutor 2006-present;
Elected Licking County Republican Party Central Committee;
President-Elect, Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association;
Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
I am married to my wife, Leslie Hood for over 15 years. We have two sons ages 11 and 7.
Member St. Pius X Church
As an Eagle Scout, I learned at any early age the importance of serving my community. I believe that experience lead me on the path to government service. I have had the privilege of serving as City Attorney (Law Director) since 2006. I am very proud of my successful record in representing the City in complex civil litigation and prosecuting serious crimes such as Domestic Violence, Drug Abuse, and Drunk Driving. I will take my years of experience to the Municipal Court and create an atmosphere that is tough on crime, efficient and fair to litigants, and a professional working environment for its employees. As Judge, I promise above all else to protect our community, to punish violent offenders, to treat those addicted, and to support victims of crime. I am proud to be endorsed by State Senator Jay Hottinger, Sheriff Randy Thorp, Prosecutor Bill Hayes, Commissioner Tim Bubb, Newark Mayor Jeff Hall, The Licking County Republican Party, and many others.
I will be a conservative law and order judge. I will not be a judicial activist. I will not legislate from the bench. I will exercise judicial restraint. I will apply the law, as written, to the facts before me and achieve the just outcome. I will not allow my personal preferences or political leanings to influence my decision making. By adhering to the letter of the law, it allows for reasonably predictable common sense outcomes.
Domestic Violence is arguably the most serious offense a Municipal Court has jurisdiction over. In 2014 Newark Police and the Licking County Sheriff’s Office responded to over 1,000 domestic violence related calls. In 2016, the numbers are nearly identical. The Court must identify those offenders and punish them swiftly. It must also provide the victim of crime the services needed to break the cycle of violence. The current system of granting early release to violent offenders is wrong. If you do the crime…you do the time. That is a lesson we all learned when we were raised. Too often the criminal justice system is manipulated in favor of the offender and leaves the victim behind. Once elected, I will work with Sheriff Thorp to end the practice of early release of violent offenders.
Bachelor of Arts (1993) -- The Ohio State University;
Juris Doctor (1996) -- Boston University School of Law
Associate, 1999-2004, Law Offices of Kristin Burkett, Newark, Ohio;
Solo Legal Practice, 2004-2010, Newark, Ohio;
Acting Judge, 2005-2010, Licking County Municipal Court;
Judge, 2010-Present, Licking County Municipal Court
Married with 3 children
I am the best candidate because I bring experience, community commitment, and integrity to the bench. I have served as judge or acting judge for this court since 2005. I have presided over every type of case that comes before the court and also have served as the administrative judge. I have run the drug court program for over 7 years, directly addressing the opiate epidemic in our community. I am committed to Licking County because I was born and raised here. I have shared the same experiences of the residents of this county and am familiar with the many services available to help people who come before the court. I have served, and continue to serve, on the boards of non-profit agencies in Licking County. I have coached my children in youth sports and helped to develop the character of our young people through athletics. I have earned the respect and endorsement of local police and fire fighters who see the integrity and respect that I bring to the bench every day.
My judicial philosophy is grounded in the commitment to providing free and equal access to the legal system for all of our citizens. In criminal cases, I believe that to reduce criminal activity, it is critical to identify and treat the causes of crime--not just lock everybody up and have them emerge from jail no better and possibly worse. I also believe that the established rights of victims of crime must be honored and that they must be kept informed of the proceedings and be able to address the court at sentencing and sentence review hearings. I believe that if a defendant is unwilling to address the underlying issues leading to criminal behavior, that they should be incarcerated to protect the community. In civil cases, I believe that cases should be decided in a timely manner. Litigants have a right to a prompt, fair, and correct ruling so they can move forward to pursue their goals and objectives in light of the final decision in their case.
I would like to say what an honor it has been to serve as a Licking County Municipal Court judge for the last seven years. It carries a great responsibility because the decisions a judge makes have a direct and immediate impact on people's lives. Public office is not about obtaining a position of prominence or authority. It is about serving the community where you live. I believe a judge should participate in and support community events and organizations which add to the quality of our county and I have done so for the past 7 years. I believe that a public official should be available to the people they represent and that a judge in particular has a duty to provide information and education about the legal system to citizens and students across the county. I believe that a judge is in a unique position to make things better for the people who come to court. I respectfully ask the people of Licking County to grant me the privilege to continue to serve them at the Municipal Court.