Bob Umholtz

Office: Geauga County – Geauga County Common Pleas Court

Age: 67

Residence: Burton, OH



Occupation: Geauga County Chief Public Defender

Education: B.A. from Malone College, J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Work Experience: Chinese Linguist – U.S. Air Force, Summary Jury Trial Co-ordinator – Staff of Federal District Court Judge Thomas D. Lambros, General Practice of Law with two private firms, Chief Public Defender for Geauga County since 1990

Family: Married to Marie. Two sons – Bob, a Major in the Air Force, is married to Melissa, a Captain in the Air National Guard – Bryen is with the United States Secret Service who for the last three years has served on a Special Ops Counter-Sniper Team.

Affiliations: Ohio State Bar Association, Geauga County Bar Association, Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Past Chair of Geauga County Community Corrections Board, Past Presiding Elder of New Promise Church, Former legal advisor to West Geauga High School Mock Trial Team

Endorsements: Geauga County Tea Party

Bar Association Ratings:¬†Received the most number of “Highly Recommended” votes from colleagues in the Geauga County Bar Association poll

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years):


(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?

Three years serving on the staff of Federal District Court Judge Thomas D. Lambros followed by thirty four years of practice with the last 29 years devoted to criminal defense work have provided me with the most in court experience. No attorney in Geauga County has spent more time representing people in the Geauga County Common Pleas Court. I have been in that Court virtually every day for nearly thirty years. No one has a better understanding of the function of that Court or the issues facing that Court. I am the only candidate who has handled capital murder cases; the only candidate with any real experience representing people charged with serious felonies; and, the only candidate with the requisite experience and specialized training necessary to qualify under the State of Ohio’s standards for appointed to represent indigent criminal defendants facing serious felony charges. Serving as the County Public Defender, I have a proven record of managing a County Department budget and personnel. I have also served on the Ohio Public Defender Commission for the past 5 years. (Having been first appointed to a 4 year term by the Ohio Supreme Court and, subsequently, a second four year term by the Governor) The Ohio Public Defender Commission oversees the State Public Defender Office with a 5,000,000 budget. Finally, having served on Kirtland City Council as council-at-large for 24 years – over 20 as Council President – provided invaluable experience in management, zoning and municipal law and responsible response to public concerns and issues.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?

George Washington advised against the formation of political parties. He warned they would breed divisiveness. Although I am a lifelong conservative, I chose to run as an independent because a judge needs to be fair, impartial and independent of political influence. If I am elected, I will owe no allegiance nor favor either major political party. Decisions will be based on the law and the Constitution. I have served Geauga County as the Chief Public Defender since 1990 and also served as a city council president for over twenty years. During my career of public service I have established a record of reaching civilly, respectfully and fairly to both sides of any issue. A look at my website will reveal the large number of people in law enforcement who have chosen to support my candidacy. These are the people who are in the best position to observe and gauge the character and ability of a candidate for Common Pleas Court Judge. They are the ones who serve and protect. They are on the streets and in the courtroom. I am humbled and honored by their support.