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CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John Russo was chosen by his colleagues as the next Administrative Judge of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Russo was elected unanimously during the monthly meeting of the court's judges Wednesday afternoon. He will begin his term in January.

The administrative judge is responsible for appointing committees, presiding over the docket of the court's General Division and speaking about court policy.

"I am excited about leading the Court forward in a collaborative approach with those involved in the Justice System. I want the opportunity to have a positive working relationship with all the work force that makes up the General Division of the Court of Common Pleas," said Russo.

Russo has served on the Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court since January 2005. Prior to assuming the bench, he practiced as a civil and criminal litigator for 12 years in his own law practice. Russo earned his B.S.B.A Degree at John Carroll University and his J.D. Degree at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

He currently serves as Committee Co-Chairperson for the Ohio Judicial Conference Court Administration Committee, Committee Person for the Judicial Advisory Committee; Trustee of the Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association; Trustee of the Westshore Bar Association; Appointed by the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court on the Joint Task Force on the Death Penalty and the Board of Commissioners of the Clients Security Fund of Ohio.

Judge Russo has served as Committee Chairperson for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Security Committee for six years; Trustee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association for three years and as Past President of the Legal Eagles St. Edward High School Community.

He has been active as a volunteer Coach in Westlake and at St. Bernadette grade school for 18 years and is also active on the Parish Council at St. Bernadette. As a member of the bench, Judge Russo participates with all schools as a guest speaker and hosts various middle school and high school age children as they come to Court and experience "a day in the life of a judge."

Judge Russo was nominated by Judge Michael Donnelly who says, "Judge Russo has all the talents necessary to become a great leader of this court. He is honest, fair and listens to all sides before he makes a decision. I expect great accomplishments during his tenure as Administrative Judge."

Current Administrative/Presiding Judge Nancy A. Fuerst will resume her daily judicial duties and regular case assignments on January 1, 2014 after four terms as Administrative Judge.

Under Judge Fuerst's leadership, prison commitments from Cuyahoga County markedly decreased from 25% to 17% through the use of evidence-based practices and availability of expanded community programs. Judge Fuerst is known statewide as a proponent for behavioral health, community corrections and regionalization of services.

Judge Fuerst is credited with establishing e-Filing and other technological improvements within the Court's case management system.

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