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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

New Judge in Town

Updated: Feb 13

Newly elected Judge David Stimpert took his oath of office today, in the very courtroom he will be presiding over at the Ashland County Common Pleas Court. I have never seen so many people in that courtroom for as long as I have been reporting.

The courtroom was packed with Judges, Attorneys, Former and current Prosecutors, Law Enforcement, including Police, Sheriff, and Ohio Highway Patrol. Besides all the court employees being present, there were also Bailiffs, a Mayor, a Senator, and a State Representative, along with Friends & Family.

David Stimpert, a local Attorney and former Chief Assistant Law Director for the City of Ashland, was sworn in, on February 9, 2023, as Judge of the Ashland County Common Pleas Court. Judge Stimpert is the son of Robert and Pamela Stimpert. He was born and raised in the Ashland area and graduated from Crestview High School in 1999. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science Degree from Ashland University in 2003. Attorney Stimpert graduated from the University of Akron School of Law in 2006 and practiced with the local law firm of Oxley & Poplar, Co., LPA, before starting his own law firm in June of 2008.

In 2012, Attorney Stimpert began working under Ashland City Law Director Richard P. Wolfe, and soon after assumed the lead criminal prosecution duties, for the City of Ashland. In that capacity, he prosecuted over 11,000 criminal and traffic cases in Ashland County. In addition to regularly practicing in all three courts in Ashland County, Attorney Stimpert is licensed to practice in State courts throughout Ohio and the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio. Attorney Stimpert is a current member of the Ohio Bar Association, and current member and past president of the Ashland County Bar Association.

David, his wife, Allison, and their four children continue to live in Ashland County and strongly believe in giving back to the community. Over his 16-year career, David has been involved with numerous local charitable boards and organizations. In the past, Judge Stimpert has been chairman of the Salvation Army of Ashland, Ohio Advisory Board; past chairman of the Nuhop Center for Experiential Learning, Board of Trustees (Camp Nuhop), and president of the Ashland County Law Library Association. He is a past member of the Ashland YMCA board, and the Ashland County Board of Developmental Disabilities. He is also a graduate of the Leadership Ashland Program, and currently sits as a board member on the Crestview Educational Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Mount Olivet cemetery association. Memberships include Faith United Methodist Church, Ashland YMCA, Ashland Elks #1360, National Rifle Association (lifetime member), Pheasants Forever, Ashland Young Men’s Business Club, and the Ashland Farm Bureau.

Judge Stimpert said, “I am incredibly honored to serve this community as the Judge of the Ashland County Common Pleas Court. The help and support that I received during the campaign was incredible, and I sincerely thank the voters of Ashland County for placing their trust in me. I will strive every day to be worthy of that trust. For over 16 years, I have been proud to be a local attorney in this community. My clients trusted me with some of their most important matters, and in turn, they provided a wonderful life for my family and me. It has been a blessing beyond anything that I had dreamed.”

Judge Stimpert continued by saying, “In addition, having the opportunity to work for Mr. Wolfe at the City of Ashland Law Director’s office, alongside our brave law enforcement officers, was an incredibly rewarding experience. I have been blessed to grow up in this area, obtain my education here and to practice law in this community. My teachers and mentors, my family and friends, my clients and fellow lawyers, and our local judges have all taught me so many lessons over the years. I am thankful for every one of them. This has been an ideal place to grow and to learn.”

In closing, Judge Stimpert said, “The decision to run for Judge was certainly not one that I took lightly. When Judge Forsthoefel announced that he would not be seeking re-election to his position in the Ashland Common Pleas Court, I had many discussions with friends and family, and after hours of thoughtful reflection and prayer, I decided to run for the position. Judge Forsthoefel served this County well and I thank him for his service. This is not just another job. For me, this is an opportunity to do more for the place that I have always called home, that I always will call home, and to which I feel that I owe so much. I am eager and excited to get to work for the citizens of Ashland County.”

After the Swearing-in Ceremony was over, I had the opportunity to speak with many of the individuals in attendance. Retired Judge Vercillo stated, “I have known Judge Stimpert since he first started to practice law. He has the intelligence, work ethic, integrity, and demeanor that will make him a fine Judge. The values that he lives and works by will serve him and the community well.”

Rick Wolfe-Director of Law, for the City of Ashland said, "I can unequivocally say that, during his tenure in this office (approximately ten years), Assistant Law Director Stimpert did an outstanding job for this office and the citizens of Ashland County. His high degree of knowledge of the law, his work ethic, his demeanor and his common sense were always evident and I have every confidence that Judge Stimpert will continue his legal career exhibiting the these traits and will likewise be outstanding as the Common Pleas Court Judge of Ashland.

Ashland Municipal Court Judge John L. Good said, “ It was a great honor to administer the oath of office to our new Common Pleas Court Judge. For sixteen years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with David Stimpert nearly everyday. I have absolutely no doubt that we have the right man for the job. I’ve come to know Judge Stimpert as a man of tremendous integrity. He has a farmer’s work ethic, and seemingly endless patience. He has the intellect, the courage, and the internal sense of fairness that the job requires. His campaign slogan, “Ashland County Values,” was never just a slogan; It’s who the man is. He grew from the dirt of this wonderful place we all live in, and he’ll do what is necessary to keep it safe. I’m sure of it. This is a great day in Ashland.”

Ashland County Juvenile and Probate Court Judge Karen DeSanto Kellogg said, “It was an honor to celebrate Judge Stimpert’s swearing-in today. Taking the bench today he marks his place in the history of the Ashland County Justice System, bringing with him humility, patience, fairness, and knowledge.”

Ashland Prosecuting Attorney Christopher R. Tunnell commented, “The prosecutor’s office is looking forward to working with Judge Stimpert. The Judge is a community minded family man, who understands how Ashland expects justice to be carried out. We believe he will fairly evaluate each case, impartially balance the necessary factors, and dispense justice accordingly.”

Ashland County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff E. Wayne Risner told me, “It was an honor to assemble with a packed Common Pleas Court room today, to witness the swearing-in of David Stimpert, as the New Common Pleas Court Judge for Ashland County. I feel confident that he will serve all the citizens of our great county fairly, impartially, and will ensure that justice is served.”

Ohio State Senator Mark Romanchuk said, “One of the great pleasures of holding public office is to see justice served, and in this case, it was witnessing the right man for the job taking the oath of office. I've known David Stimpert and his family 20 years, and I can assure the people of Ashland County he will make a superb justice in the Court of Common Pleas. David will be a true originalist who will judge according to our State Constitution and the law as written, and not legislate from the bench. I know his dedication to justice and to this community will serve the people of Ashland County well for years to come.”

District 67 Ohio House of Representatives Melanie Miller commented, “Judge Stimpert is a good and humble man. He will work hard every day to be fair, honest, and just. Ashland County is so fortunate to have Judge Stimpert on the bench.”

“The role of Common Pleas Court Judge is arguably one of the most important and impactful positions in our county’s law enforcement and criminal Justice system,” said Mayor Matt Miller. “The person who occupies this position can have a profound influence on the culture of our community and our people’s safety. I truly believe Judge Stimpert has the knowledge, wisdom, and level-headedness to make sure that ALL are treated with compassion and fairness as they make their way through our Justice system.”

Finally, former Ashland County Prosecuting Attorney Robert DeSanto replied, “I have known attorney Stimpert for a number of years, both as a private attorney and an assistant prosecutor for the city. He is an astute lawyer and a very balanced person. His judgement is sound. I have no doubt he will be a thoughtful and insightful judge. He will keep the community safe and the judicial system fair!”

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