Updated Wed, Sep 18, 2013 3:34 pm
The two new participants in the Athens County special grand jury matter both come to the case with extensive judicial backgrounds and well-tested legal experience.
Tuesday, Athens Co. Common Pleas Judge L. Alan Goldsberry, before stepping aside, appointed Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty to act as counsel for the Athens County Sheriff’s office instead of Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn. The appointment was made at the request of Blackburn with the consent of the Athens County Commissioners.
Later in the day, retired Common Pleas Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove was appointed by Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to preside over the grand jury proceedings and any outcome from the grand jury. Judge Goldsberry voluntarily withdrew from the case because Sheriff Pat Kelly publicly said that
Goldsberry was one of four office holders that Kelly had unilaterally targeted for investigation.
McGinty, 61, became prosecutor after being elected in November 2012. He ran on a platform of transparency and accountability in the prosecutor’s office and wants to reform our criminal justice system and reduce crime in Cuyahoga County, according to his prosecutor’s biography.
Before becoming prosecutor, McGinty served 18 years as a judge in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Prior to his long-standing judicial career, he served 10 years as an award-winning assistant county prosecutor. He was also named Ohio Prosecutor of the Year.
He received his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, a master’s degree from the University of Nevada-Reno and an undergraduate degree from Heidelberg University.
Judge Cosgrove is no stranger to big cases or controversy. In March, she was appointed by Chief Justice O’Connor to preside over the special grand jury in Steubenville called by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. This grand jury is investigating the involvement of others in a possible cover-up of a rape of a 16 year old. The Steubenville grand jury is ongoing.
Two juveniles were convicted in March of the primary offenses. However, a special grand jury was called by DeWine to investigate what certain public officials may have known about the case and did not report.
Prior to her retirement in August 2011, Judge Cosgrove spent 18 years as a trial judge in Summit County and was no stranger to high profile cases.
She retired from the bench because her husband had been diagnosed with cancer. He passed away in September 2011 after battling brain cancer.
She was originally appointed to the bench in 1993 but won re-election three times in 1994, 2000, and 2006. She was chief administrative judge of her court in 1995, 1996, 2006 and 2010.
Judge Cosgrove received her law degree from the University of Akron. She served as a law clerk for the 9th District Court of Appeals and served as an assistant law director from 1978 to 1980. She then spent over 10 years in the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office handling major criminal and civil matters.