November 24, 2013
Magistrate and Court Administrator Marianne Sezon has announced that she has taken out candidacy petitions from the Ashtabula County Board of Elections to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination to run in 2014 for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas – General Division. Ms. Sezon is running for the open seat to be vacated by Judge Ronald W. Vettel, who after 36 years, will be retiring from the bench on December 31, 2014. The upcoming election in November of 2014 will determine Judge Vettel’s successor, to take the judicial bench on January 1, 2015. The Primary election date is May 6, 2014.
Ms. Sezon is uniquely qualified to become Judge based on her Legal, Administrative, and Business experience both in the private sector and in the public sector, through her work within the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas. Over a span of more than 16 years, Ms. Sezon has held positions within the Court including Staff Attorney, Magistrate, and Court Administrator. During her tenure, she has assisted the Court in making its rulings of over 4,000 cases in a wide variety of practice areas including personal injury, real estate, foreclosure, domestic relations, worker’s compensation, professional torts, administrative appeals, product liability and criminal law. From her years of “hands on” court perspective experience, Marianne has familiarity with the multitude of legal issues the Common Pleas Court faces on its docket.
Marianne’s experience also includes participation in Judge Mackey’s Drug Court that was recently recognized, and provided special funding, for its innovative approach in providing alternative sentences to low-end drug offenders who show promise for leading a drug free life. The 2014 judicial elections will also see the retirement of Judge Mackey, after 25 years on the bench, and Marianne’s experience within the Court will help to see that the management of this program continues seamlessly.
In 2010, Marianne was appointed as Court Administrator along with her continued duties as Magistrate. Therefore, in addition to her legal experience within the Court, Marianne has firsthand experience in managing the $2 million dollar budget of the Court of Common Pleas, as well as supervision of a Court staff of 35 employees in several departments including bailiffs, Court reporters, paralegals, staff attorneys, jury commissioners, mediators, probation officers, and Court security. “While an important part of a Judge’s job is obviously to decide cases,” says Marianne, “ask a current or former Judge about one of the most difficult aspects of the job, and they will note the Administration of the Court.” Marianne has performed these administrative tasks within the very Court that she is seeking to become Judge, and is Certified by the National Center for State Courts as a Court Manager.
In reaching this point in her life, and seeking to continue to serve the Citizens of Ashtabula County as a candidate for Judge on the Court of Common Pleas – General Division, Marianne recognizes the hard work and sacrifices of friends, co-workers, teachers, and other members of our community who have helped her as she has advanced in her career. Above all, she recognizes that she owes much gratitude to her family that has owned and operated Eddie’s Grill, for 63 years. To anyone who has ever enjoyed spending a summer day at Eddie’s Grill, Marianne has been a familiar fixture at this establishment starting with cleaning trays and tables, to later experiences with advice on legal and business matters within this family-run business. Throughout, Marianne has learned the importance of hard work, self discipline and customer service. “There is an old saying,” says Marianne, “to the effect that a variety of experiences helps to create the law. I will use all of my experiences to fairly and impartially conduct the business of the Court.”
Marianne is a lifelong resident of Ashtabula County, residing with her husband, Richard Dana, in Austinburg. She is actively involved in her community serving in the following capacities: Former President of the Ashtabula County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board; Current Trustee of the Ashtabula County District Library Board; 2012 Graduate of LEADERship Ashtabula County, currently serving on the LEADERship Board of Directors; Former Treasurer and current member of the University Hospitals Community Christmas Card Committee that provides life-saving equipment to UH Geneva Medical Center; appointment to the Kent State Ashtabula Advisory Council effective January 2014, and active member on a number of Committees within the Ashtabula County Bar Association, as well as numerous community service organizations. In 2012, the Ashtabula County Chamber of Commerce Recognized Marianne as one of the “Top 5 Under 45 Professionals”. In 2011, Ashtabula County Living Magazine listed Marianne in its inaugural issue of “Most Interesting Persons of Ashtabula County.” In 2006, she received an award from the Ohio State Bar Association for Community Service for an Attorney Under 40. Marianne holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Akron School of Law, as well as a M.Ed. and B.A., Cum Laude, from John Carroll University.