The following email was sent to Matthew Donahue, Chief Legal Counsel to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, on Thursday, March 10.

Chief Counsel Matthew Donahue:
I am writing today on behalf of the Highland County Local Corrections Planning Board. As I am sure you are aware, our Hillsboro City Municipal Court Judge, David McKenna, announced his retirement on September 1 and left the office on October 31, 2021. 

While I understand that the Governor’s office is busy and has pressing matters to attend to, we have been patiently waiting for over five months now for an appointed replacement.

This vacancy is creating undue and unnecessary stress on the local agencies that work alongside the courts when it comes to meeting grant goals which secure funding sources for the services they provide. Referrals are at an all-time low, and our valuable community resources which we have worked hard to build and procure are not being utilized.

This in turn has had a direct impact on the health and safety of our community at a time when we are already stretched thin from two years of dealing with COVID and too many years of fighting the opiate epidemic. 

Our municipal court judge has always played an integral role in not only our criminal justice system, but in the recovery community as well, and we need this vacancy to be filled as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance for your time and understanding, and we look forward to the governor announcing the appointment soon. 
Thank you,
Tonya Sturgill
Highland County Criminal Justice Advisory Board