Letters to Editor—Chagrin Valley Times, Feb. 27, 2020


Matt Rambo has integrity

Recent campaign tactics by Judge Timothy Grendell are wrong. He is basing his race to continue as Geauga Probate and Juvenile Court judge on party and experience, not performance.

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

Grendell had no experience with abuse or 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 and director of CASA for KIDS from 1998 to 2015, I spent much time in court. Judge Grendell initially had little understanding of the complicated issues that were presented in abuse and 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 and Family Services agency. Court decisions were influenced by Judge Grendell’s mood. In one case, he threw a 10-year CASA volunteer (recognized by the group 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 and neglect cases as a guardian ad litem representing the best interest of children in the Ashtabula County 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.

Christine Steigerwald


Vote for Rambo

Matt Rambo is running against Geauga County Probate and Juvenile Judge Timothy Grendell. We have met with Matt and reviewed his credentials and experience.  We are voting for Matt Rambo and hope you will too!

Pat and John Leech


Rambo best choice  

I am writing in response to a letter from Russell Township titled, “Don’t Be Deceived.”   Respectfully, I am going to vote for Matt Rambo, and I am not deceived. Nor am I dishonest, which is what this reader wrote about me and others who have been writing in against the judge over these years.  When our current judge was appointed by Gov. John Kasich, there was much objection to it by our Geauga Republican Party. I did not know about all of that until someone told me after I complained to her about him. I went into Google and pulled up the documented history in the newspapers.  What had been described to me was true.  Gov. Kasich, it was written, wanted Grendell out of Columbus because he was known for acting like “a bull in a China shop.”  Grendell was not known for practicing juvenile law. He was known for winning a big zoning case against the City of Mayfield Heights. Then he bought a bakery.  Then he got into politics.  He had been in politics when he was appointed, not practicing juvenile or probate law. Matt Rambo is a practicing attorney.

I take issue with being called dishonest. I am honest, and I challenge you to get to know me and others personally before attacking character.  The citizen from Russell is one of the ones fooled by a dishonest politician.  The children and families the judge has harmed are afraid to come forward. He is known for scaring people in his court.

What difference does it make if a person claims to be a Republican, who supposedly has family values, if that person does not value all the families that come before him?  The Protect Geauga Parks people speak for the elements of nature that have no voice. I have been speaking out for families and children who have no voice, for years. I am not dishonest.

I am a Trump supporter.  President Trump tells it like it is.  His presidency has brought out how corrupt things are in the U.S. government. He has changed the Republican Party for the better and called out those who were members of the swamp in Washington. The corruption in the FBI has come forth for all to see. I experienced agent indifference to what is right when I reported the Judge you are bragging about to the FBI for misconduct.  They did nothing.

I feel sorry for all the people who have been duped by the Grendells.  They do not stand for liberty and fairness.  I would rather give Matt Rambo a chance to lead than cast my vote for a phony. Rambo wants to bring integrity, real integrity, back to our court bench.

Robin Neff


Campaign ad unsuitable

I was very disturbed by the full-page ad in last week’s Times for Geauga County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Tim Grendell in which his opponent, Mr. Rambo, was disparaged because he has voted as a Democrat. The notion that partisan loyalty prevents us from voting one way or the other is a singularly unsuitable campaign tactic for a judicial candidate. Even worse though was the characterization of Democrats as the “Democrat/Socialist” party which is a term commonly associated with the Nazis. In any event, this sneering reference to Democrats makes me wonder whether everyone, regardless of party, can get a fair shake in Judge Grendell’s courtroom. If Judge Grendell does not agree with this PAC ad, he should disavow it.

Aimee Gilman


Categories: Commentary

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