CLEVELAND -- In a brief statement released just after 2 p.m. Friday, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo said "Based on pending legal matters, I am appointing visiting Judge Ronald Suster to handle Judge Lance T. Mason's civil and criminal cases effective Monday, August 11."
Mason has been arraigned and posted bond but has yet to be indicted by a Cuayhoga County grand jury.
According to the Ohio Supreme Court, a judge must be indicted on felony charges -- not just arrested -- in order to be removed from the bench. If Mason is indicted, the Ohio Supreme Court would remove Mason from the bench while his case is pending. He would continue to receive his pay of $121,350
Mason, 46, of Shaker Heights, was arrested over the weekend for allegedly assaulting his wife. WKYC learned today that Mason and his wife, Aisha have been separated since March.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court records show that Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Lance Mason posted bond Wednesday, two days after his arrest for felonious assault.
Mason, 46, of Shaker Heights, had 10 percent of his $65,000 posted after a court-appointed forensic psychologist told Shaker Heights Municipal Court Judge K.J. Montgomery earlier Wednesday that he did not pose a risk to himself or others.
A temporary protection order prohibits him having any contact with his wife and two children, 4 and 6.
Mason, who is also a former Democratic member of the Ohio Senate and represented the 25th District from 2007 to 2008, is accused of attacking his wife Aisha Mason just after noon Saturday while they were driving in their car with their two children on Van Aken Boulevard.
Court documents reflect that Mason hit his wife with his fists, slammed her head against the dashboard and bit her.
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In a 9-1-1 call, his wife told dispatchers he threw her out of the car, beat her and then drove off with the children.
Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court records show that Aisha Mason filed for divorce Monday, citing extreme cruelty and gross neglect of duty.
Her attorney of record is Joyce Barrett and the case was assigned to Domestic Relations Judge Rosemary Grdina Gold..
Mason is represented by attorney Fernando Mack. Mason waived his preliminary hearing on Wednesday and his case will be before a Cuyahoga County grand jury.