John R. Hamercheck
John R. HamercheckCounty Commissioner
Lake County Commissioner John R. Hamercheck was elected to serve as one of three Lake County Commissioners. Hamercheck’s term as Commissioner commenced on January 3, 2017. Commissioner Hamercheck was re-elected to a second term that commenced on January 3, 2021.
Prior to taking office as Commissioner, Hamercheck built a successful engineering and communications firm, which he managed since 1992.
Hamercheck served as an elected member of Madison Village Council starting in 2006, and, with two re-elections, continuously serving until taking office as Commissioner in 2017. Hamercheck served four of those years as President of Council.
Hamercheck served as an auxiliary police officer for Madison Village. Hamercheck became Auxiliary Team Leader and Community Outreach Coordinator. Several other officers who were part of the auxiliary team have gone on to part-time and full-time positions as officers in Madison and other communities. In 2003, Hamercheck was named Madison Village Police Officer of the Year, the first time that award was given to an auxiliary officer.
As Commissioner, Hamercheck has served as the President of the Board of Commissioners in 2018, 2020 and 2021. Hamercheck also serves as the 1st Vice-President of the Executive Board for the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). Additionally, Hamercheck serves as an Executive Board member of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO).
Hamercheck is a lifelong Lake County resident, John and his wife, Susan, were married in 1992 and together they have two daughters, Dyan and Sarah. The Hamerchecks welcomed Dyan’s husband, Isiah into the family in 2017 and are now proud grandparents with the arrival in 2020 of Leo.
John PlecnikCounty Commissioner
Commissioner John Plecnik was sworn in as the 79th Commissioner of Lake County, Ohio on February 11, 2021. He is one of three Lake County Commissioners, who meet weekly in Painesville to set the budget and administrative policy for county government.
In the past, Commissioner Plecnik served as Vice President of Council, Chair of Finance and Councilman-at-Large for the City of Willoughby Hills, where he personally negotiated and drafted the tax abatement that brought over 300 good-paying jobs and the single biggest employer in the last decade to Lake County. He also served as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Willoughby-Eastlake Public Libraries and Chairman of the Willoughby Hills Recreation Commission.
Commissioner Plecnik is very active with our local nonprofits. He volunteers as a Board Member of the Slovenian American Cultural Association, which publishes the Slovenian American Times newspaper. Commissioner Plecnik is also a member of St. Vitus Church, SNPJ (Slovenian National Benefit Society), KSKJ (American Slovenian Catholic Union), Collinwood Slovenian Home, North Coast Lions, the Lake County Retired Teachers Association, Willoughby Hills Historical Society and the High Note Society of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame.
Commissioner Plecnik holds degrees in accounting, law and tax. He earned his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in Accounting from Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated co-valedictorian. He earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Duke University School of Law, where he co-founded the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy. He earned his Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law. Commissioner Plecnik was also awarded the Certificate in Business Excellence by the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.
Commissioner Plecnik is also known as Professor Plecnik at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, where he serves as an Associate Professor of Law. Professor Plecnik has also taught classes at North Carolina Central University and Georgetown University. Internationally recognized for his work, Professor Plecnik won the prestigious Bilateral Grant twice from the Public Research Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, and his research has been cited as authority by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Richard J. Regovich
Richard J. RegovichCounty Commissioner
Prior to taking office as Commissioner, Richard J. Regovich was the Mayor of Willowick, Ohio for 6 and a half years.
Commissioner Richard Regovich started Willowick Hearts and Hammers to help the senior citizens and any other member of the community in need. He has served on the Willowick Planning Commission, Willowick Charter Review Committee, and was appointed as Willowick Ward 1 Councilman and then elected for another term. Two tenets which drive Rich are service and his faith. To this end, he has volunteered at countless school functions, sporting events and church festivals. He is a lifelong parishioner of Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church.
Regovich has been married to his wife, Lynn, for 33 years and together they raised their two children in Willowick. Their son, Brian (22) is currently in Graduate School at Baldwin Wallace University. Their daughter Lizzie (20) currently attends the University of Mount Union.
Lake County Auditor
Christopher A. Galloway
Clerk of Courts
Common Pleas Judge
Vincent A. Culotta
Vincent A. CulottaCommon Pleas Judge
Lake County Common Pleas, General Division, judge since April 2004 Administrative Judge 2005, 2009, 2013 Presiding Judge 2015 Lake County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office 08/1990-04/2004 Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Criminal Division 10/1995-04/2004 Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Felony Division 10/1991-09/1995 Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Juvenile Court 01/1991-09/1991 Law Clerk 1990-1991 Special Prosecutor in Ashtabula County Special Prosecutor in Geauga County
Lecturer Attorney General’s Two Days in May Conference on Victim’s Assistance 2000 Lakeland Community College, Police Officer’s Training Workshop 1998, 2000, 2002 Lake County Common Pleas Judges' Seminar 2008-present
Licenses & Certifications Attorney & Counselor at Law, State of Ohio 1990 Admitted, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio 1994 Admitted, U.S. Supreme Court 2001
Education Juris Doctor degree, The Ohio State University 1990 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bowling Green State University 1987
Memberships (Professional) American Judges Association member The Justinian Forum member 2003-present Trustee 2005-present Lake County Bar Association member Certified Grievance Committee member 1999-2000 Judicial Endorsement Committee member 2000-2003 Notary Public Commission committee member 1999-2012 Lake County Association of Chiefs of Police former honorary member 2004-2006 Lake-Geauga Fraternal Order of Police past member Local Corrections Board of Lake County member 2004-present Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Advisory Board past member National District Attorneys Association 1991-2004 Northeast Ohio Community Alternative Program (NEOCAP) Judicial Advisory Board member 2007-2012 Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association member 2004-present Ohio Judicial Conference member 2004-present Criminal Law and Procedure Committee member 2007-present Jury Service Committee member 2013-present Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association 1991-2004 Ohio State Bar Association member
Memberships (Community) Americans of Italian Heritage Club member Kirtland Baseball League board member 2011, coach 2005-2011 Kirtland Youth Basketball League instructor and coach 2008-2012 Ohio High School Mock Trial, Legal Advisor 1991-1993, Judge 1994-present Rotary Club of Willoughby member 2005-present Andrews Osborne Academy board member 2013-present
Common Pleas Judge
John O'DonnellCommon Pleas Judge
Lake County Common Pleas, General Division, judge since 2015 Lake County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Chief Assistant, Civil Division 2011-2014 Special Lake County Prosecuting Attorney 1991-2011 Assistant Prosecuting Attorney 1989-1991
Practicing Attorney John P. O’Donnell, LLC 2008-2014 Lyons & O’Donnell Co., LPA 1996-2008 Gibson, Harkins & Brelo Co., LPA 1991-1996
City of Willowick Ward 3 Councilman 2013-2014 Director of Law 2005-2011 Ward 3 Councilman 1994-2005 Grand River Village, Prosecutor 2004-2008 Lake County ADAMHS Board, Legal Counsel 1995-2011 Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Assistant Prosecutor 1988 Lake County Public Defender’s Office, Assistant Public Defender 1987-1988
Licenses & Certifications
Attorney & Counselor at Law, State of Ohio 1987 Admitted, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio 1998 Admitted, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit 2000 Admitted, U.S. Supreme Court 2014
Juris Doctor degree, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 1987 Bachelor of Arts degree, John Carroll University, 1984 Memberships (Professional) Lake County Bar Association Ohio State Bar Association
Common Pleas Judge
Common Pleas IV
Common Pleas Judge
Patrick J. Condon
Patrick J. CondonCommon Pleas Judge
EMPLOYMENT Lake County Common Pleas Judge, General Division, 2019-present Lake County Prosecutor’s Office 2003-2018 Portage County Prosecutor’s Office 1999-2003
LICENSES Attorney & Counselor at Law, State of Ohio 1999 Admitted, U.S. Supreme Court 2014
EDUCATION Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Juris Doctor, 1999 Miami University, Bachelor of Science in Business, 1994
MEMBERSHIPS Lake County Bar Association Notary Commission Ohio State Bar Association Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association
Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division Judge
Colleen A. Falkowski
Colleen A. FalkowskiCourt of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division Judge
Judge Colleen A. Falkowski was elected to serve as Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division Judge beginning January 2, 2003. She is a graduate of Ursuline College (cum laude) and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. In her 23 years experience before becoming a Judge, she served Lake County families as a Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts and as the staff attorney for the Child Support Enforcement Agency of the Lake County Department of Human Services.
Since 2003, Judge Falkowski has added innovations, including: Creation of a full-time mediation program staffed by Magistrates who are experienced family law attorneys Creation of a program for children ages 6-11 about divorce and their emotions. Holding a quarterly legal clinic, co-sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Lake County Bar Association, Family Law Committee, and the ADAMHS Board for spouses who cannot afford an attorney to file for divorce. Holding continuing legal education classes for attorneys on mental health issues and guardians ad litem for required continuing legal education. Providing the home base and handler for the Lake County Court of Common Pleas Judges’ Facility Dog, Atticus, a yellow lab.
Judge Colleen A. Falkowski is appointed by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor as a member of both the Supreme Court’s Commission on Dispute Resolution and Advisory Committee on Children, Families, and the Courts.
Judge Falkowski also serves as: Past President of the Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges and current Treasurer. Member of the Ohio Judicial College Domestic Relations Practice and Procedure Committee, founding and current member. Board member of the Ohio Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
Awards Judge Falkowski was honored with the 2015 Presidential Award by the Ohio Legal Services Foundation for the Legal Clinic Collaboration. Leadership Lake County’s Leader of the Year in 2015. National award received from the American Judges Association Chief Justice Richard W. Holmes Award of Merit in 2015.
Juvenile Court Judge
Karen LawsonJuvenile Court Judge
On November 4, 2008 Karen Lawson won the election for Judge of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division. Judge Lawson made history as the first female to serve Lake County as Juvenile Court Judge. In November 2014 Judge Lawson was elected to serve a second term.
Since taking the bench on January 4, 2009, Judge Lawson improved the efficiency of the Court’s operation by streamlining the docket. Additionally, she created the Juvenile Traffic Violations Bureau, making it possible to reduce traffic court to just three days per week. Judge Lawson successfully implemented programs designed to improve children’s lives. She introduced the Intensive Community Rehabilitation (ICR) program into the detention facility. In partnership with the Lake County ADAMHS Board and Crossroads, the ICR program draws on the talents of current Court staff to decrease the children’s risk of re-offending. This unique program keeps high-risk, felony offenders off the streets while progress is made toward their rehabilitation.
Additionally, Judge Lawson established the Restitution Work Detail program to ensure victims receive timely reimbursement for their losses. Judge Lawson’s New Voices for Girls program assists young girls in building self-esteem. The Court’s innovative Achievement Program helps young drug offenders turn their lives around, while the A-Ten-D program keeps at-risk children in school. Through the detention facility’s Gardening Project, Judge Lawson teaches children to grow their own fruits and vegetables. With these and other programs, Judge Lawson prepares children for a productive future. At the same time, she protects the public from children’s delinquent behavior.
Judge Lawson hosts prominent speakers to motivate children. These have included Lev Polyakin of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Lebron James' manager and cofounder of LRMR Marketing, Randy Mims. In the summer of 2013 she partnered with Greg Vovos and James Mango from The Fine Arts Association to bring a professional theater production to the Lake County Detention Center. Judge Lawson accomplished these objectives within the confines of a shrinking budget. This is keeping in line with Judge Lawson’s philosophy of getting the most out of every taxpayer dollar, and learning how to do more with less.
In addition to her work with children, Judge Lawson assists the local professional community. Through a partnership with the Supreme Court of Ohio and Lake Erie College, Judge Lawson brings cutting-edge seminars to Lake County. Judge Lawson also hosts at the Juvenile Court the Supreme Court of Ohio’s video conference training program. This provides a low-cost, convenient opportunity for area Judges and Magistrates to earn mandatory continuing legal education training hours. Moreover, Judge Lawson supports the Supreme Court of Ohio's Court Management Program. This program ensures court leaders are trained in efficient and professional court administration. Two of her administrators have already graduated from this program while others are currently enrolled.
Prior to taking the bench in January 2009, Judge Lawson practiced law for twenty-six years. During this time, she had the privilege of serving the public in a variety of capacities. Judge Lawson served as Magistrate for Lake County Juvenile Court and Acting Judge for Painesville Municipal Court. Judge Lawson's private practice was devoted primarily to family and juvenile law. She served as Guardian Ad Litem for hundreds of Lake County's abused and neglected children.
In May of 1995, Judge Lawson was selected by Ohio Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery to serve as Managing Attorney of the Cleveland office. In this position, she led Montgomery’s transition team in Northeast Ohio, coordinating sixteen counties. Judge Lawson became Deputy Attorney General, directing a staff of over eighty employees in fourteen legal divisions of the Attorney General’s Office. These divisions included: Capital Crimes, Correction Litigation, Consumer Law, Telemarketing Fraud, Medicaid Fraud, Environmental Law, and Workers’ Compensation.
Judge Lawson served as Assistant Prosecutor during former Congressman Steve LaTourette’s tenure as Lake County Prosecutor. Judge Lawson was responsible for the prosecution and conviction of Kirtland cult matriarch, Alice Lundgren, wife of Jeffrey Lundgren. Alice Lundgren is currently serving a sentence of 150 years to life in prison. Judge Lawson also was entrusted with the onerous task of prosecuting rape, sexual assault, and child abuse cases. In this capacity, she successfully prosecuted and obtained countless convictions on behalf of the State of Ohio.
Judge Lawson was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1982, and began her legal career serving as an assistant Lake County Public Defender. Judge Lawson earned her Juris Doctorate from Cleveland Marshall College of Law. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Judge Lawson was admitted to practice in the Federal Court for the Northern District of Ohio in 1983 and in the United States Supreme Court in 1999.
Judge Lawson has been honored to serve Lake County’s children and families as Juvenile Court Judge the past five years. She looks forward to a second term. Judge Lawson is confident she will continue to build upon the progress that has already been made.
Mark J. Bartolotta
Mark J. BartolottaProbate Judge
As Probate Judge, I welcome you to the Lake County Probate Court Website.
We are dedicated to serving our citizens fairly, respectfully, and compassionately.
My staff and I look forward to serving you!
Dr. Mark K. Komar
Lake County Engineer
James R. Gills
Charles E. Coulson
Lake County Recorder
Becky LynchLake County Recorder
Lake County Recorder Becky Lynch was re-elected to a second term on November 3, 2020. Becky is the 25th County Recorder since Lake County’s establishment in 1840. The Recorder Office is located at 105 Main Street in Painesville, Ohio in Building C of the Administration Complex. The Recorder office enters new documents into the Official Public Record daily and maintains the Records Room library collection, preserving the history of our county’s land records. A property owner in Lake County can be assured that the official copy of their property deed is safely stored with their Lake County Recorder. Among additional Recorder Services, we provide access for records research, issue the State of Ohio Veteran I.D. card, and help to fight property fraud with the PFA program - Property Fraud Alert. For more information visit www.LakeCountyOhioRecorder.com
As the Sheriff of Lake County many have asked if I could tell a little bit about myself, my background and experience, so people know who this person is representing them as Sheriff.
My name is Frank Leonbruno. My wife Heidi and I have been married for 34 years and we have raised two daughters and two sons here in Lake County where we were both born and raised. Both of my sons and my son-in-law are also police officers right here in our Lake County communities. We are the proud grandparents of 5 granddaughters and one grandson … with more to come we hope!
I have been a proud member of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for over 30 years. Throughout my career I have continually sought to increase the professionalism of the Sheriff’s Office. Starting as a Corrections Officer in 1989 I was promoted to Sergeant, followed by Captain and Jail Administrator – a position held for 17 years. As the Jail Administrator I worked with over 100 Correction Officers and jail staff, supervising nearly 400 inmates. We accomplished many things together as a staff, and became the first jail in Ohio ever to be certified as being compliant with of the Ohio Minimum Jail Standards.
During that time I also served as the SWAT Team Hostage Negotiator and instructed in the Corrections and Police academies. In 2011 Sheriff Dunlap promoted me to Chief Deputy, second in command of the Sheriff’s Office. As Chief Deputy I was responsible for all operations, including Road Patrol, Court Security, Jail, Communications/Dispatch, Administrative Support Services, SWAT Team, Marine Patrol and CCW/SORN divisions. These duties required the efficient management of a $17 million dollar budget, over 215 employees, media relations, social media platforms, establishing department policy, contract negotiations, and advanced training.
My education includes a Master’s Degree in the Administration of Justice and Security from the University of Phoenix, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Philosophy from Borromeo College of Ohio. I am proud of the fact that in 2009 I graduated from the FBI National Academy, a program that less than 2% of police officers have the opportunity to attend in their career. My other certifications include: graduate of the Certified Law Enforcement Executives program (CLEE), graduate of the Police Executive Leadership College (PELC), graduate of the National Institute of Corrections, and one of the first Certified Jail Managers in the United States through the American Jail Association. For the past 27years I have had the opportunity to teach at Lakeland Community College in its Criminal Justice degree program in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Crisis Intervention.
Yet my proudest moments have come along side my wife Heidi as we have raised two sons, two daughters, and six fantastic grandchildren (and growing). Both of my sons and my son-in-law serve as police officers right here in Lake County. We have all been members of St. Cyprian’s Parish in Perry for over 25 years and believe that our faith in God is a critical part of our personal and family development, in addition to the service to our community.
While I am not perfect, my wife Heidi will tell you that I am a man of faith, believe in the importance of family, and an extremely hard worker who believes in the equality of law and the critical role that the Sheriff’s Office has in doing the right thing for the people of Lake County. As Sheriff I will continue to work with area police and fire chiefs to insure that we are using our best resources to defend the safety and security of our community. I promise to work with our elected officials at every level to ensure that we are a collaborative partner in making this county a phenomenal place to live.
I feel fortunate to have a tremendously skilled and experienced management team and outstanding individuals throughout our Sheriff’s Office. Jeff Sherwood serves as our Chief Deputy, Capt. Mike Warner manages Central Communications, Capt. Cynthia Brooks is our Jail Administrator, Lori Gladding oversees our Administrative Support Services, Lt. Larry Harpster runs our Detective Bureau, Lt. Bob Izzo directs Road Patrol operations, Capt. Ron Walters directs Court Services, and Robert Kundrat handles our IT operations. They are tremendously skilled and I am honored to serve with them.
I look forward to everyday here at the Sheriff’s Office moving us forward to meet the challenges of tomorrow by doing great things today. I consider it a great honor to serve all of you as Sheriff. If you ever have a question or feel you need to discuss something with me please do not hesitate to call. My office number is (440)350-5517 and my email address is [email protected] Or stop in it would be great to see you!