Chris Wagner

Office: For Judge of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, General Division
Term Beginning 1/4/2021

Age: 47

Residence: Cincinnati



Social Media:

Occupation: Chief of Compliance, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts

Education: Graduate of St. Xavier High School; B.A. International Affairs Xavier University; J.D. University of Cincinnati College of Law

Work Experience: Chief of Compliance, Hamilton Co. Clerk of Courts; Managing Attorney, Cincinnati Regional Office of Ohio Attorney General; Special Asst. United States Attorney SD of Ohio; Special Asst. United States Attorney ND of Ohio; Cuyahoga Co. Asst. Prosecutor

Family: Married with three children

Affiliations: Cincinnati Bar Association, President, President Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Board Member (2013-Present); Hamilton County Justice Reform Commission (2007 – 2010); Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Parishioner; Cincinnati Chapter NAACP, Member; UC College of Law Mock Trial Team, Coach (2013-2016); Southeast Cincinnati Soccer Association, Board Member (2017-2019); Youth Soccer and Little League Coach

Endorsements: Hamilton County Democratic Party and Equality Cincinnati PAC

Bar Association Ratings: 

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

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
For most of my 20-year legal career, I have served as a Prosecutor. I began my career as an Assistant County Prosecutor in Cuyahoga County quickly rising to the position of Major Trial Prosecutor. I have also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio and as a Managing Attorney and Special Prosecutor for the Ohio Attorney General.

I have prosecuted a wide range of crimes in Ohio, including, capital murder, aggravated murder, sexual assault, criminal gang activity, RICO, public corruption, charity fraud, gambling, and mortgage fraud. I prosecuted cases on behalf of the government in eleven Ohio counties and the Northern and Southern District of Ohio. I successfully tried two drug conspiracy cases in Federal Court. I worked with multiple law enforcement agencies throughout Ohio (Federal, State and Local). I have tried 97 cases with 52 jury trials. I tried the first serious youthful offender case in Cuyahoga County. Through a nuisance abatement action, I shut down the last pill mill in Scioto County. Before Judge Nadine Allen, I shut down a bar in Evanston in another nuisance abatement action and the voters upheld the verdict by voting to permanently ban the property from having a liquor license. I convicted an Ohio Assistant Prosecutor for adding criminal charges onto an indictment without the vote of a Grand Jury. I investigated and prosecuted two Catholic Universities for failing to report campus sex assaults to law enforcement. I prosecuted a sitting Ohio judge for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. I made numerous appearances on behalf of the University of Cincinnati. I conducted several enforcement hearings on behalf of Ohio State Racing Commission.

I am currently the Chief of Compliance for Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, Aftab Pureval. In my role on the Senior Management Team, I advise Clerk on all legal issues and monitor changes to statutes, Rules of Superintendence and Procedure, and case law for its impact to the Clerk’s office. I monitor the legal services provided by counsel and supervise the Municipal Court Bailiff Division.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I served as a Law Clerk and later as a Staff Attorney for Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Ann Marie Tracey early in my career. I saw firsthand the importance of the trial court and the impact it has on people’s lives. I have spent my career traveling through Ohio in larger urban counties to smaller rural counties and have seen firsthand that our justice system can and should be improved. I am running for Judge on the Common Pleas Court to make our judicial system fairer and more equitable. It would be a great honor to serve Hamilton County, the place I have called home since I was 8 years old and where my wife and I chose to raise our three children.

I have traveled and litigated across Ohio, in State and Federal Courts, in my almost 20 years as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Cuyahoga County, Assistant Ohio Attorney General and now Chief Compliance Officer of the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts – and will use all I have learned in my career to build a better courthouse, strengthen the legal community and improve the legal system.

The fact is, the judiciary should serve as an independent voice. The judiciary should be the product of a profession that rights wrongs and seeks justice. And, the judiciary should serve as a check on government excess, a check on the powerful, and protect the rights of minorities. It is my promise to do so. Hamilton County deserves the best judiciary to confront the perplexing issues of today and the problems of the future with equality, resolve, and compassion.