Commentary

Integrity vs “experience”

Rambo (integrity) vs Grendell (experience)

Submitted by Chris Steigerwald

Recent campaign tactics by Judge Tim Grendell are wrong!  He is basing his race to continue as Geauga Probate/Juvenile Judge on party and experience.

Grendell has overspent, using taxpayer money and does not respect or work together with other Republican officials, so is he a true Republican?  See these articles:

Judge Grendell’s Kangaroo Court-like proceedings against GOP official in Geauga County require a judicial rebuke—The Cleveland Plain Dealer;

Pay dispute between judge, auditor heads to High Court—The Times;

Judge Issues Blistering Rebuke of Grendell Orders—The Geauga Maple Leaf.

Grendell had no experience with abuse/neglect cases prior to being appointed a judge. Juvenile cases (abuse, neglect, dependency, legal guardianship and delinquency) are confidential for important reasons, but that does not allow the public to know what happens in these cases.

In my role as staff/director of CASA for KIDS (1998-2015), I spent much time in court.  Judge Grendell initially had little understanding of the complicated issues that presented in abuse/neglect cases.  For example, in a case where a father was legally mandated to receive treatment for alcohol addiction (he had violent incidents when drinking – another court ordered that he give up his guns), Judge Grendell told the dad to be sure to refrain from drinking when he had weekly visits with his children. This was not consistent with the treatment plan!

Judge Grendell often did not respect or listen to the input and knowledge of the caseworkers from the Job & Family Services agency.  Court decisions were influenced by Judge Grendell’s mood. In one case, he threw a 10-year CASA volunteer (awarded for her thorough, outstanding advocacy) out of court and off a case because he did not like the recommendation she made regarding the best interest of the children. Grendell then dismissed the attorney representing that CASA volunteer from the courtroom.  This attorney who was a valuable legal consultant for the CASA program, quit the position as a result of the Judge’s action.

I have been very disheartened to hear during the last few months of this campaign season of respected foster parents who will no longer foster children from Geauga County because they have been unhappy with decisions made by Judge Grendell. Unfortunately, due to confidentiality they cannot speak up.  Enough!! We cannot allow the lives of children and families to be negatively impacted.

Matt Rambo has knowledge of abuse/neglect cases as a Guardian ad litem representing the best interest of children in the Ashtabula Juvenile Court. He has a calm demeanor and a desire to serve the public, not himself.  I will choose integrity (Matt Rambo) over so-called experience when I vote.

BTW, Judge Charles Henry (1994-2011) had no prior experience as a judge before being appointed, but his demeanor, respect for the family/child service providers and desire to help youth and families enabled him to become outstanding and highly respected.


PGP NOTE: While we at Protect Geauga Parks have been almost totally focused on the negative impact Grendell has had on the Geauga Park District and various township parks in the county, it is now becoming clear that his overall performance in probate and juvenile justice cases has often been devastating to families. In the parks, poor decisions can sometimes be overcome, albeit at great cost. Families that suffer poor treatment in court can often suffer permanent financial and emotional damage. The statement above sheds light on how the professional staff at the Probate/Juvenile Court feel about the direction the Court has taken under Grendell.


Protect Geauga Parks endorses and supports Matt Rambo for Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge in the March 17 Republican Primary election.
Please request a Republican Party ballot and vote for Matt Rambo.


Protect Geauga Parks is a 501(c)4  not-for-profit corporation 
This communication is not authorized by any candidate, political party or campaign committee.

Categories: Commentary

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