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Published: Friday, 10/21/2005

City attorney to face municipal court judge

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Timothy Kuhlman, who is making his fourth run for judge, and Paula Hicks-Hudson, who has worked more than 20 years in the public sector, are running for election to Toledo Municipal Court.

The election for the six-year term is among three contested races in the court. The annual salary for the judgeship is $105,950.

Mr. Kuhlman, 39, who is endorsed by the Republican Party, is running to retain his seat on the bench to which he was appointed in February.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson, endorsed by the Democratic Party, is making her first attempt for election to public office.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson, 54, is an attorney with the city of Toledo. She is assigned to collect delinquent income taxes from individuals and businesses.

She resigned as director of the board of elections in January, where she began in June, 2002, as a deputy director.

Candidates are restricted by the Ohio Supreme Court Canons of Judicial Ethics from discussing specific cases or type of cases and how they might rule.

She said if elected, she would have court sessions available in the evening, would encourage the use of court mediation to resolve small-claims issues, and would explore the possibility of holding proceedings outside the courthouse.

"I am very interested in having more accessibility and taking the court into the community," she said.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson worked for the Lucas County prosecutor on child support issues from 1984 until 1989.

She then became an assistant public defender, representing the poor in misdemeanor cases in municipal courts. She was an assistant in the regional office of the Ohio attorney general from 1992 to 1995.

"I have reached the point in my career that I have done so many different things. I am ready to take the next step and make decisions that will effect change in the community," she said.

Judge Kuhlman, who grew up in Arlington, Ohio, is making his fourth attempt to get elected as a judge.

Last year, he tried unsuccessfully to win election to Lucas County Common Pleas Court. He had an unsuccessful write-in campaign for Lucas County Probate Court in 2002. He also lost a race for housing court judge in Toledo Municipal Court in 1999.

Judge Kuhlman said he tries to fashion sentences that are appropriate for the criminal conduct of the defendant, and works with social agencies to arrange for suitable rehabilitation.

"Most of the time, the people who are in court are in need of direction. I have the ability to do that in providing them with training and counseling for the underlying problems that get them into trouble, whether it be substance abuse, mental health, or domestic violence," he said.

Judge Kuhlman, who has the endorsement of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association and the Toledo Police Command Officers Association, suggested expanding community service to include picking up litter in alleys and parks so defendants develop a work ethic.

"This could be a way for them to develop job skills and provide them with the training to get a job," he said.

Before being appointed a judge, he handled civil litigation and criminal defense work with the Toledo law firm of Eastman and Smith. He went to work for the firm after he graduated in 1991 from the University of Toledo College of Law.

A native of Hamilton, Ohio, Ms. Hicks-Hudson graduated in 1982 from the University of Iowa College of Law. She also has an undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta.

Contact Mark Reiter at:

markreiter@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.



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