SEBRING, Ohio (WYTV) – The two men running for Mahoning County’s only contested area court seat have roughly the same experience practicing law, but incumbent Judge J.P. Morgan has about 18 months of service on the bench.
“I’ve handled voluminous amounts of cases that give me the experience necessary to be able to understand what types of cases are coming before my court and to be able to understand them and process them quickly,” Morgan said.
Morgan was appointed to succeed Judge David D’Apolito in March of last year and then assigned to the Sebring Court held by Diane Vettori until she was removed from office by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Morgan’s challenger is attorney and former State Senator Joe Schiavoni, who says his background gives him a unique perspective.
“Not only fighting for people as their layer in dealing with the law but also writing the laws down in Columbus. As judge, it’s your job to follow the law and give people just results,” Schiavoni said.
Although both candidates believe an act of the General Assembly would be needed to consolidate the county’s area and municipal court system, they also admit there could still be ways to utilize improving technology and streamline staff to eliminate duplicated services.
“I think at the end of the day, it is about efficiency, but you also have to remember that there’s a court system there to serve the public. There has to be a balance of service to the public and efficiency to the taxpayers,” Schiavoni said.
“I think we can become more efficient and more effective by implementing remote technology more often,” Morgan said.