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Published: Saturday, 9/7/2002

Ohio Lt. Gov. quits safety role for judicial run

COLUMBUS - Starting Monday, Ohio Lt. Gov. Maureen O'Connor will take a leave of absence from her dual role as director of public safety so that she can concentrate on her campaign for state Supreme Court.

The Republican is vying for the seat to be vacated by Justice Andy Douglas, a Toledo Republican. Her Democratic opponent is Hamilton County Municipal Judge Tim Black.

“I am extremely proud of our accomplishments at the Department of Public Safety and look forward to rejoining those efforts [on Nov. 6],” said Ms. O'Connor.

She will continue to serve as lieutenant governor, as well as in her highly visible, post-Sept. 11 role as chairwoman of the state security task force. The move will mean a total salary reduction for the lieutenant governor of about $8,600 over the two months.

“We're not surprised,” said Kimberly Wood, a spokeswoman for Judge Black. “This is the fourth job she's quit to run for another office. Judge Black is the experienced judge and she's the career politician.”

Thomas J. Stickrath, assistant director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, will serve as acting director in her absence, but his salary has not been set. He is currently paid $99,590 a year.

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