Election scheduled for Shaker Municipal Court after Judge KJ Montgomery resigns
SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio – Details were unclear earlier this week on the resignation of longtime Shaker Heights Municipal Court Judge KJ Montgomery effective August 1.
After unsuccessful attempts to contact court officials on Monday August 2, the city’s legal director, William Ondrey Gruber, offered to verify more information and returned with this statement:
“Judge Montgomery has retired for personal reasons and Judge Larry Allen has been appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to sit as a designated judge until the post is filled,” officials said , with the same answer published by the court on Tuesday morning, referring to all further. questions to the Cuyahoga County Electoral Board.
A decades-long cancer survivor, Montgomery had temporarily retired from the bench in recent years for health reasons, but returned for what she said was her last six-year term as a judge, having been elected in 1993.
With multiple magistrates attending 12,000 to 14,000 cases per year, Shaker Heights City Court covers Beachwood, Hunting Valley, Pepper Pike, Shaker and University Heights.
The vacant post leaves an unexpired term that runs until Dec.31, 2023. According to the County Electoral Board website, the deadline for submitting nominations for potential candidates is Aug. 11 at 4 p.m. – “10 days after the day the post is vacant ”for the non-affiliated, non-partisan post.
A breakdown from the city’s finance department shows Shaker Municipal Judge’s annual salary to be around $ 145,000, with $ 80,451 from the Ohio Supreme Court, $ 37,950 from Shaker Heights and 25,300 $ from the county – plus $ 1,500 from the state Supreme Court for serving as “administrative president”.
On Monday, two candidates were listed by the county electoral board as having withdrawn petitions: Anne Walton Keller, already a magistrate at Shaker municipal court; and Mark Wiseman, a lawyer and former University Heights city councilor who resigned in January 2020 after being appointed a magistrate at the Cleveland City Housing Court.
At the same time, “when people ‘pull’ petitions, they don’t have to leave their names,” County Election Council spokesperson Mike West said. “So often they will come looking for petitions and not leave their name. They can also ask a friend to come and pick them up for them.
To participate in the November 2 ballot, potential candidates will need to file a minimum of 50 valid signatures from registered voters in the jurisdiction, with a maximum of 100 for electoral council officials to verify validity.
Allen retired as a Willoughby Municipal Court Judge in 2011, having held that position since 1994 – the same year Montgomery took over from Shaker Heights Municipal Court.
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