The Ohio Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Mahoning County Probate Judge Rober Rusu, Jr. for presiding over cases involving ex-clients.
The Court said Rusu represented the clients when he was a practicing attorney.
Justices noted there was no evidence that Rusu’s misconduct caused any measurable harm or that it “resulted in anything less than the evenhanded administration of justice.”
Rusu was appointed as a Mahoning County Probate Court judge in July 2014 and won election to the office in November 2014.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a complaint against him in May 2018 alleging he violated several rules when he presided over cases in which he previously served as an attorney and failing to promptly notify multiple clients that once he was appointed to office, he was terminating his representation of them.
Rusu released the following statement in response on Wednesday:
When I became judge, I was attempting to transition from a large probate law practice with hundreds of cases and files to becoming the probate judge. I was also trying to make all the proper notifications and follow all of the complicated ethical rules for this transition.
I accept responsibility for misinterpreting those rules. It’s no one else’s fault but my own. I appreciate that the Supreme Court found that I was ‘frank and open’ about everything and that I took responsibility for my actions. I also appreciate that the court found that none of my actions ‘caused measurable harm or resulted in anything less than the even-handed administration of justice.’ I’m thankful for the strong showing of public support I’ve received during this time and I will continue to do my very best as the Mahoning County Probate Judge.