CINCINNATI (FOX19) - For the second time in a month, Hamilton County Probate Judge Ralph “Ted” Winkler will be the judge who appoints a new, temporary member to Cincinnati’s city council. This time Judge Winkler will be filling the seat of P.G. Sittenfeld, who has agreed to a suspension from council while he fights federal charges.
On November 30th, Judge Winkler appointed local attorney Steve Goodin to temporarily fill the seat of Jeff Pastor. Pastor is also facing federal charges.
Judge Winkler joked that he is typically known as the adoption judge and for officiating lots of weddings from his probate court. However, he says these council appointments are something he is taking very seriously.
“I’m the most experienced judge in Ohio on appointing members to city council now because I think I’m the only one that’s done it this year,” Judge Winkler said. “So I’m going to let everyone submit their names that want to apply. And then I’m going to make the appointment once I get all the information in.”
Judge Winkler said his initial list of candidates was around nine people, but several more have asked to be considered. He expects to make an announcement by the end of next week.
The candidate Judge Winkler selects can be from any political party. The person chosen will become a temporary member of council. Judge Winkler says the plan is to narrow the list to five candidates and interview them. He added that he hopes this is the last time he has to do this.
“I don’t want to make another appointment,” Judge Winkler said. “I don’t want another council person to be in trouble. I don’t want another council person to fail. I want them all to be successful.”
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