Muni court seat filled
LISBON — The new Columbiana County Municipal Court judge will be Timothy J. McNicol of Wellsville.
McNicol was appointed on Tuesday by Gov. John R. Kasich, whose office sent out an official announcement late in the day. McNicol will fill the seat left by Judge Chris Amato, who resigned recently.
McNicol said he looks forward to getting started in his new position, including continuing the drug court program Amato started.
“I’ve seen him conduct the drug court,” McNicol said of time he recently spent in Amato’s courtroom, adding he found it very impressive. “I think it’s changing people’s lives.”
McNicol notes people going through the drug court program are getting back to work and getting control of their addictions, which is helping their families and their children.
In addition to continuing and expanding the drug court, McNicol will be handling a general caseload including misdemeanor charges, felony arraignments and preliminary hearings and small claims civil cases.
McNicol said he looks forward to getting started and lifting some of the work off fellow Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost, who has been handling “a rather heavy caseload” since Amato left.
After hearing the announcement on Tuesday, Frost said he has known McNicol for a long time and is certain he will do a good job.
“I’m sure we will have a good working relationship,” Frost said. “I look forward to working with him.”
McNicol is scheduled tentatively to begin his term on March 7 and will be required to run to retain the seat in the general election of November 2019.
Until now McNicol had been serving as an assistant county prosecutor as well as the assistant law director for the East Liverpool Municipal Court and the mayor’s court magistrate in Wellsville. McNicol will no longer be able to serve in those three positions.
“I would like to thank (county Prosecutor) Bob Herron for giving me the opportunity,” McNicol said, adding he would not have had the career he has had nor the opportunity to become a municipal judge without the experience he has gained working for Herron in the prosecutor’s office.
Additionally, McNicol took the opportunity to thank county Republican chairman David Johnson, Commissioner Mike Halleck and Robert Sebo from the Republican Party for supporting him through the process of applying for the position of municipal court judge and placing faith in him.
Finally, McNicol thanked Amato, who is also from Wellsville, for providing him with both “friendship and support” while he went through the appointment process.
McNicol received his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University followed by his law degree from Capital University. He is a member of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association. He is also involved as an elder and a deacon at Riverside Presbyterian Church in Wellsville. He serves as a youth softball and basketball coach. He was a former member of the board of directors for the Southern Columbiana County United Way.