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Chief Justice names budget task force members

    The composition of a 28-member group that will examine long-term solutions to strengthen the financial picture of Ohio’s courts was announced today by Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. The Task Force on the Funding of Ohio Courts will meet for the first time on March 23.

    Chief Justice O’Connor spoke in her 2011 inaugural address of the need to pursue systemic change and further cost savings through a collaborative process involving Ohio’s judges, bar associations and all stakeholders in the legal community.

    Task force members consist of representatives of the Ohio Judicial Conference, all the judges associations, the Ohio State Bar Association, associations representing other major constituencies of the judicial branch, and members of the General Assembly.

    “In general, the task force will examine the current structure and the funding of the judicial branch,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “Specifically, the task force will be charged with identifying the method and manner by which Ohio courts are funded; determining the long-term efficacy of the current funding models; and reviewing possible alternatives that might provide sustained and consistent funding for Ohio courts.”

    The panel will meet throughout 2012 and issue a report by early next year with specific recommendations for further costs savings and efficiencies.

    The task force is chaired by Judge Christopher Boyko of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

    Other members include:

    • Licking County Domestic Relations Court Judge Craig R. Baldwin;
    • Summit County Common Pleas Court Executive Officer Andrew J. Bauer;
    • retired Ross County Common Pleas Court Judge William J. Corzine;
    • Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Durkin;
    • Toledo Municipal Court Judge Michael R. Goulding;
    • Franklin County Municipal Court Magistrate Kathleen E. Graham;
    • Obetz Police Department Chief Ken Hinkle;
    • Summit County Clerk of Courts Daniel M. Horrigan;
    • City of Nelsonville Law Director Garry E. Hunter;
    • Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney;
    • Montgomery County Commissioner Deborah A. Lieberman;
    • State Rep. Dennis E. Murray;
    • State Sen. Scott Oelslager;
    • Athens County attorney Rick Oremus;
    • Stark County Probate Court Judge Dixilene N. Park;
    • Court of Claims of Ohio Clerk of Court Mark H. Reed;
    • Hancock County Common Pleas Court Judge Reginald J. Routson;
    • Champaign County Prosecutor Nick A. Selvaggio;
    • Fayette County Sheriff Vernon P. Stanforth;
    • State Rep. Gerald L. Stebelton;
    • Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Professor Steven H. Steinglass;
    • Franklin County Municipal Court Clerk of Court Lori M. Tyack;
    • Cleveland attorney Michael N. Ungar;
    • Seventh District Court of Appeals Judge Joseph J. Vukovich;
    • Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost;
    • Director of the Office of the Ohio Public Defender Tim Young; and
    • Shelby County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge William R. Zimmerman.

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