Manning, Kalil up for judge seat


Eaton Municipal Court Judge seat to appear on May 4 primary ballot

By Eddie Mowen Jr. - cmowen@aimmediamidwest.com



Kalil

Kalil


Manning


EATON — Voters in the upcoming Republican primary will select a candidate for Eaton Municipal Court Judge during the Tuesday, May 4 primary/special slection.

Candidates vying to run for the seat include Assistant Preble County Prosecuting Attorney Gractia Manning of Eaton, and Edmund Kalil of West Alexandria. The following candidate profiles were requested and submitted by the respective candidates and have been lightly edited:

Gractia S. Manning

Office seeking: Eaton Municipal Court Judge

Occupation: Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Preble County Prosecutor’s Office

Past political posts held: None

Education: B.A. in Communications (minor Political Science), Bethany College, West Virginia, 1992 and J.D. from University of Dayton School of Law, 1997.

Community involvement: Have participated in Relay for Life, Victims’ Rights Week activities, have volunteered at the Pork Festival and Whispering Christmas, supported Preble Shawnee Youth Softball League.

Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

I have been an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney with the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office for over 22 years. For the last 16 year in Eaton Municipal Court I have been solely responsible for prosecuting every misdemeanor case occurring in the unincorporated areas of the county for the Sheriff’s Office. I also prosecute misdemeanor cases for the Villages of Lewisburg, West Alexandria, New Paris and Gratis. I maintain a large felony caseload and administer the Felony Diversion program for the prosecutor’s office as well. I also gained experience sitting as acting judge in Miamisburg Municipal Court for Judge Robert Rettich.

I feel that my 22 years as a prosecutor, and 16 years working in Eaton Municipal Court, uniquely qualify me for the position of Eaton Municipal Court Judge. With over two decades of public service in the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office, I’ve gained the wisdom to appreciate the proper role of the court in our community. I have dedicated my career to seeking justice in Preble County. I chose to stay in the prosecutor’s office because I care about this community and want to ensure the safety of its citizens.

I want nothing more than the opportunity to put my personal qualities and my experience to work for the people of Preble County as the next Eaton Municipal Court judge.

What are the most crucial issues facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address them?

The court is there to serve our citizens; the job of the judge is that of a public servant. I will be a full-time judge who works a full-time week, and then some. I will work to continue improving technology through grant funding, including electronic filing and pursuing a “paperless court.” Streamlining the system will pay for itself in the form of increased efficiency.

In 2020, Eaton Municipal Court processed over 1,000 misdemeanor criminal and OVI cases on behalf of Preble County’s over 42,000 citizens. Eaton Municipal Court currently has only one probation officer, and probation is non-reporting. This means that a defendant on probation isn’t monitored for compliance at all. The current system does little to ensure a defendant’s accountability to the community.

I will pursue grant funding to hire additional probation officer positions to expand and vastly improve the probation department, including supervised probation. Most importantly, I will reserve the maximum sentence and commit that I will hand down tough and meaningful sentences to defendants who violate the terms of their probation. Whether a defendant is ordered to pay restitution, engage in drug and alcohol treatment, or do community service, when he or she fails to do so and therefore violates the terms of probation, that failure should trigger a consequence.

In addition, I will do whatever I can to stop the revolving door of defendants who are arrested for felony offenses and post bond, only to end up right back in jail on a new felony charge a day, week, or month later, over and over again. I will remember these individuals and set appropriate bonds for repeat offenders who commit new offenses while they have cases pending so that they cannot repeatedly victimize our citizens.

If elected what would be your chief priorities?

As I mentioned above, my priorities include improving technology, staffing probation for proper supervision of defendants, and ensuring that defendants are held accountable for their actions. Holding defendants accountable will lessen recidivism and increase the chances of rehabilitation.

Edmund H. Kalil

Office seeking: Eaton Municipal Court Judge

Occupation: Attorney, 208 North Barron St., Eaton

Past political posts held: Republican Central Committee Representative for Lanier NW for three terms.

Education: B.A., Niagara University, 1985; JD, University of Dayton School of Law, 1988.

Community involvement: Boards of the Preble County Mental Health Board and Preble County Chamber of Commerce; 25 continuous years as a member of the Sons of American Legion Squad 0322 of West Alexandria; 15 seasons as a SAY soccer coach; four seasons as announcer for the Twin Valley South girls soccer team; 10 years as a scout leader for both Pack and Troop 78 of Eaton, a position I still hold; and volunteering at the Thanksgiving Day event held at the Preble County Fairgrounds.

Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?

I have practiced in the Eaton Municipal Court as an assistant county prosecutor; as well as an acting prosecutor for the City of Eaton, Village of West Alexandria and Camden handling both criminal and traffic cases. As a private attorney within my general practice, I have handled criminal and traffic cases as well as civil cases, including evictions and small claims. I have been an Acting Judge for the Eaton Municipal Court on several occasions. I have also been the Acting Magistrate for this court.

I have over 30 years of operating a small business in Preble County. This includes a successfully practicing extensively in this court as an assistant prosecuting attorney, acting assistant prosecutor, defense attorney as well as acting magistrate and acting judge, all of which have prepared me to become the Judge of the Eaton Municipal Court.

What are the most crucial issues facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

There are several issues that need attention.

The court needs to focus on the drug epidemic by utilizing the services provided by Next Step Living. This is a Preble County based residence facility that is not funded by Preble County. I look at this as an alternative for incarceration for those with drug addiction as it offers a place to live, be treated, receive counseling and the opportunity for employment to allow the resident to pay for their stay. This will decrease jail population and ease the burden on taxpayers.

The probation department will be given “teeth.” It needs to enforce the terms of probation for those on probation. Probationers should actually report, at least monthly, and be subject to random drug screens and use electronic monitoring. The court currently possesses these tools, they just need to be used.

The court will have a driver’s license clinic. This would be a mandatory program to educate those without a valid license as to why their license is not valid and how they may correct these problems. I would also offer a traffic safety program for persons in point trouble with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Lastly, the court has the software in place to accept electronic, or paperless filings. This should be initiated along with electronic transfer of files from each law enforcement department. This should be done as soon as possible in order to save staff time and resources.

In order for all of the above to transpire, the court will be operating from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with all personnel present. I would, as Judge, pronounce sentences for all jailable offenses from the bench, not at the payment counter by a staff member. I will also ensure that all victims will have the opportunity to be present in the courtroom during the sentencing of the offender, as well as the opportunity to make a statement.

If elected what would be your chief priorities?

All of the above are priorities and need to be initiated as soon possible.

Kalil
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/04/web1_kalil_ed.jpegKalil

Manning
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/04/web1_manning_gractia.jpegManning
Eaton Municipal Court Judge seat to appear on May 4 primary ballot

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

cmowen@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr