stan smiths adidas Kasich appoints Mark Bartolotta as Lake County Probate Court judge
Geauga County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Bartolotta has been appointed by Gov. John Kasich to serve as the new Lake County Probate Court judge.
Bartolotta, a Concord Township resident, formerly served as an assistant Lake County prosecutor before he went to work for Geauga County.
I m excited to start in a new position and a different area of the law and I m very honored the governor appointed me to fill the big shoes over there, Bartolotta said. I look forward to meeting the staff and working in Lake County again. Denny Clunk had been serving temporarily until Kasich made the appointment. Sitting Lake County judges also were available to assist if needed.
The unexpired term on the bench runs through Feb. 8, 2015. If Bartolotta wants to run for a new six year term, he would need to appear on the ballot in November 2014.
Bartolotta confirmed he intends to run for the position next year.
Other candidates whom sources said were under consideration by the governor were Lake County Probate Court Magistrate Lora Lynne Krider; Lake County Assistant Prosecutor John O Donnell; and Jim O Leary, a Painesville Township attorney.
As a Geauga County assistant prosecutor, Bartolotta played a prominent role in the prosecution of Thomas M. Lane, for the shootings at Chardon High School on Feb. 27, 2012.
With the Lake County Prosecutor s Office, Bartolotta was heavily involved in prosecuting major felony cases. He began to work in the office as a law clerk in 1992 and eventually worked in the civil, juvenile and felony divisions until leaving the office in February to work in Geauga County.
I worked closely with Mark for 18 years, he s a fabulous lawyer and will be a fabulous judge, Lake County Prosecutor Charles E. Coulson said.
The prosecutor said he had a close relationship with Klammer and he expects to have one with Bartolotta.
I m glad the governor finally made the decision and we ll have a really good person in the Probate Court, Coulson said.
Bartolotta comes from a highly respected legal background and is one of four Lake County judges who had close ties to former Lake County Prosecutor Steven C. LaTourette and were later appointed or elected to the bench. The other judges are Common Pleas Court Judges Richard L. Collins Jr. and Vincent A. Culotta and Juvenile Court Judge Karen Lawson.
Bartolotta received his law degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1992 and earned a bachelor s degree in business administration from the University of Akron in 1985.
He has been married to his wife Suzanne for 22 years and is the father of two boys Joe, 17; and Matt, 13.
Probate courts deal with a range of different responsibilities, such as administration of estates, appointment of guardians, name changes, filing of marriage licenses and other matters.
I ve got extensive trial experience although predominantly in criminal, but there are so many different areas of society that I had experience in prosecuting, Bartolotta said.
An immediate goal he has as the new Probate Court judge is to get to know the staff and what their roles are and to speak with Clunk to get a feel if there are improvements that could be made.
A long term goal Bartolotta cited was to make the court as efficient and user friendly as possible for the public.
Another responsibility he will have as a Lake County Probate Court judge will be to make appointments to the three member Lake Metroparks Board of Park Commissioners, who serve three year terms. Park commissioners now serving are Ellen Foley Kessler, whose term expires Dec. 31; Dennis E. Eckart, whose term expires Dec. 31, 2014; and Frank J. Polivka, whose term expires Dec. 31, 2015. So Bartolotta will have the ability to reappoint or appoint new people for at least two park commissioner seats.