A MONROE County man, who has a law office in Caldwell, has been appointed by Gov. John R. Kasich to serve as a judge on the Monroe County Common Pleas Court, Probate and Juvenile Division.
Attorney Clifford N. Sickler, who will assume his duties as judge June 4, fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Walter Starr.
According to the governor's office, Sickler must run in November 2014 to retain the seat for the full term, beginning Feb. 9, 2015.
As to his appointment, Sickler said, "I'm pretty excited about it. Not many times in your life, you have the opportunity to get in a judgeship and try some things."
Indicating he is interested in community-based projects to help at-risk juveniles, Sickler said as prosecutor in Noble County, he handled a lot of juvenile matters, and he also noted, "Walter (Starr) had some good programs going for the kids. He really worked hard. ... I'll have the opportunity to meet some people in Monroe County who worked with him."
The newly appointed judge explained, "I like the community service projects the juveniles are involved in. The youth are so important to the community. People sometimes don't pay attention to what they're facing - things we didn't have to face in school.
"I want to come up with some programs that keep juveniles at risk from getting institutionalized. There are some things we can do - community-based things."
A Barberton High School graduate, Sickler received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Kent State University in 1974 and earned his juris doctorate from the University of Akron School of Law in 1977.
He moved to Franklin Township in Monroe County this year, and he lives about 3 miles from Stafford. A former Batesville resident, he served on Batesville Village Council. The Sicklers lived in Tallmadge and the Summit County area for a number of years, before moving to Eastern Ohio in 1997, and the family then lived in Seneca Township near Calais in Monroe County.
Sickler worked in the Noble County prosecutor's office for 11 years, part of which he was assistant prosecutor and then prosecutor. While he was an assistant prosecutor, the prosecutor became a judge so Sickler ran the office.
Noting that he was fair with people while serving as prosecutor, the judge appointee went on to say, "I also represented the defense interests - I didn't want to grind people down. I always try to be as neutral as possible and give people the benefit of the doubt."
Sickler and his wife, Marianne, who have been married for 35 years, have three children and 11 grandchildren. Their children are Jason, who resides in Tallmadge; Emily, Cuyahoga Falls; and Elizabeth in George; all three are married with families.
Among the groups to which he belongs are the Calais Baptist Church where he is a deacon and teaches an adult Sunday School class, the Noble County Historical Society and Gideons. He plans to join the Monroe County Historical Society. While a prosecutor, he was a member of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.
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