Office: Licking County Municipal Court
Residence: Newark, OH
Education: J.D. from The Ohio State University, B.A. from The University of Notre Dame
Work Experience: Franklin County Public Defender’s Office 1998 – 2006; The Sutton Law Firm 2006 – present
Family: 2 boys, 14 and 12
Affiliations: Licking County Bar Association, Ohio Bar Association, volunteer regularly at The Salvation Army and Behavioral Healthcare Partners, Past President of the Licking County Bar Association and of the Downtown Newark Association, Past Board Member of LAPP, MHALC, Catholic Social Services,
Endorsements: The Newark Advocate, https://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/news/local/2019/04/12/our-view-sutton-best-choice-democrats-licking-county-judge/3404289002/?fbclid=IwAR34x15gnsE5iXueYVnrxTjlOuSc-vJ7okGmZUeAWqwakz-EPIMSuMWwDTk
Bar Association Ratings: N/A
(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years):
I currently serve as an Acting Judge by appointment with the Licking County Municipal Court and have done so since 2011. I have thus sat in the very seat for which I am seeking. As an Acting Judge, I have heard cases involving domestic violence, drinking and driving, and cases involving drug and alcohol addiction, among others. I have sentenced people to probation and jail, presided over trials, probation violation hearings, arraignments, and other hearings, while working alongside the prosecutors, defense attorneys, probations officers, and the court staff in the Licking County Municipal Court.
(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I have handled thousands of cases in various Municipal Courts throughout Ohio as an attorney. I practiced in Municipal Court exclusively to start my legal career and I have practiced law in front of over 50 different Judges, learning their best practices. I have practiced in every Court in Licking County and have travelled to courts throughout central Ohio. I also serve as a member of the Licking County Municipal Court’s OVI Court Treatment Team that meets weekly. This is a specialized docket that focuses on providing an intensive structured regiment of treatment to multiple offense OVI offenders. The goal is to give them the tools and resources that will help them maintain long-term sobriety, living healthy, productive lives. In my daily practice as an attorney, I am in regular contact with families and individuals struggling with alcohol/drug abuse and addiction. I have a passion assisting these individuals to develop the tools that they can use to treat their disease, address their underlying issues, and live healthy, successful lives. As important as what I have done, is what I will do. I will treat everyone who walks through the Court with respect and dignity. I work well with others, I welcome constructive criticism, and I genuinely want to be the best Judge I can be, performing a service for the public.
(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am running because I want to help change lives. I have been sober from alcohol for over 15 years. Through the help of 12 step meetings, treatment, and the support of family, friends, and colleagues, I was able to change my life. It wasn’t easy but it has been extremely worthwhile and life-changing in the most positive of ways. Further, I know the success stories I see as a member of our Court’s OVI Treatment Team â€“ people who, sometimes have a lifetime of abusing alcohol or using drugs, can, through intensive court supervision and treatment and a multiple-pronged approach, can learn to live the same wonderful life I have. Therefore, this is not a job for me, nor a desire for power, or positioning for the next campaign For me this is a personal passion, a calling. I have a unique personal experience that is perfectly suited for the position of Licking County Municipal Court Judge. Yes, I have the education, the experience, and commitment; however, I also have the personal experience of what it feels like to overcome the very thing that I as Judge may be asking those that come before me, to overcome and change in their lives. Licking County is also my hometown; I was born and raised right here and I want to be a leader effecting lasting, positive change in the community.