ST. CLAIRSIVLLE - Frank Fregiato has been appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas by Gov. John Kasich, which is Belmont County's state trial level court.
He will assume that position on Aug. 12. Fregiato will then be vacating his position as Northern Division County Court Judge where he has served since 1997 and also leaving his Bridgeport law firm of Fregiato, Myser & Davies where he has practiced law since 1977.
As Northern Division County Court Judge, Fregiato had been very active in promoting legal education in Belmont County.
Most notably, for fifteen years Fregiato took his courtroom directly into each Belmont County high school for live court sessions each year.
"This live court program, believed to be the first and only of its kind in the country, has helped to make certain our students understand that there are consequences for their actions," Fregiato said. "I think the results have been very positive."
Fregiato has received State and National recognition for this program. He also instituted a nonviolent offender program whereby defendants undertake service for Belmont County communities, such as painting town and township buildings and cleaning cemeteries, roads, and streams.
Judge Fregiato is a lifetime resident of Belmont County, growing up in Bridgeport and Martins Ferry and graduating from Martins Ferry High School, serving as class president. He is the son of Frank and Mary Fregiato. He received his BA Degree from The Ohio State University with Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science and Phi Betta Kappa honors. He also received his Law Degree from The Ohio State University, graduating in the top 5 percent o f his class with Order of the Coif honors. He was an editor of the Ohio State Law Journal and is director and past president of The Ohio State University Belmont County Alumni Club.
He is also a partner in the law firm of Fregiato, Myser & Davies. He is Special Counsel to the Attorney General and admitted before all Ohio courts, including the Ohio Supreme Court, the Federal District Court, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the American, Ohio, National Italian-American and Belmont County Bar Associations, former member of the Ohio State Bar Banking Committee and Ohio State Bar Ethics Committee, past President of Belmont County Bar Association, former Law Director of the Village of Bellaire and former Solicitor of the Villages of Belmont and Brookside.
Fregiato has been extraordinarily active in the community. He is a member of St. Mary's Church of St. Clairsville, and Bridgeport and St. Clairsville Chambers of Commerce. He is a member of the Bellaire Sons of Italy being the Orator-Consigliere and serving on its Cultural Committee. He was the Sons of Italy winner of the 2003 Outstanding Achievement Award and served as a Sons of Italy State and National delegate. In 2005 he received the Purple Aster Award on the State level from the Sons of Italy. He is a member of the St. Clairsville Rotary Club, where he was President, and instituted the countywide project providing dictionaries to all third graders, and became a Paul Harris Fellow. He also previously served as Bridgeport Rotary Club President. He is a member of St. Clairsville Knights of Columbus, American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainers, Kirkwood Hendrysburg Masons receiving the 2000 Ohio Grand Lodge Community Service Award, Ohio Valley Christian Soldiers, Ohio Cancer Research Associates and its 2006 Honoree, Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Advisory Staff, past Easter Seals Telethon participant, Blaine Bridge Preservation Project, Ohio River Front Development Co., Miracle of Life Support Group and Washington, D.C. based Italian Commission on Social Justice. He was the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival Italian-American of the Year for 2002, was appointed by the Bishop to the Child Protection Review Board of the Diocese of Steubenville and has since been elected as Chairperson thereof, and served on the East Ohio Regional Hospital Development Fund Campaign Board. He received the Sons of American Revolution Law Enforcement Medal and Women's Tri-County Help Center Peace Keepers Award. He is also a member of the GTO Association of America and The Historic Vehicle Association. He had been serving on the Martins Ferry Hall of Honor selection committee since its inception. Recently, he received the Rotary International District Community Service Award, the OVAC Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award, and the GTO Foster Dedication Memorial Award.
In addition to previously publishing on Ohio State's Law Journal, he also authored "A Brief History of Italy" which is a comprehensive essay from pre-Roman times to the modern era and authored a lead article in the international GTO magazine The Legend. In 2010 The Legend named Fregiato a regular columnist which column is named "Quarter Mile with the Judge."
In his "spare time" he serves as a volunteer waiter at Sons of Italy Thursday Pasta Nights.
He resides in St. Clairsville with his wife Cynthia. They have two children, a daughter Tessa (husband Nick) of Cincinnati with grandsons Dominic and Vincent, and a son Dustin (wife Erica) of Indianapolis.
Fregiato vows to bring to the Common Pleas bench the same energetic approach and passion which has guided him the last several years. He explains "you need both toughness and compassion, and the key is knowing when to use one or the other or, ususally, a blend of the two."
The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. on the top floor of the Belmont County Courthouse. Judge John Solovan will be officiating. The ceremony is open to the public.