Candidate was taken off guardianship cases 10 times

Gretchen DeBacker, the Democratic candidate for Toledo Municipal Court judge, was removed from 10 guardianship cases between 2006 and 2011 for failing to file mandatory reports on time.

In all 10 cases, Ms. DeBacker had been hired to represent a person who had been judged incompetent to look out for their own affairs, and her main duty to Probate Court as guardian was to file an annual inventory and two reports with Lucas County Probate Court on her ward’s status.

According to Lucas County Probate Judge Jack Puffenberger, guardianship cases are handled by magistrates. He said in the majority of cases in which guardians are removed the reason is failure to file documents on time.

Ms. DeBacker is running in the nonpartisan general election Nov. 5 against Republicans Joshua Lanzinger and Kenneth Phillips. The seat is now held by Mr. Lanzinger who was appointed to the vacancy by Gov. John Kasich on Sept. 11 and sworn in as judge two days later. The vacancy was created when former Municipal Judge Michael Goulding was appointed to a vacancy on Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Ms. DeBacker acknowledged that she was removed from the cases.

“It wasn’t anything to hurt the clients. It was simply my failure to show the status of my work to the court. Probate Court is not my regular or main area of practice. It’s not an excuse it’s simply an explanation,” Ms. DeBacker said.

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Candidate was taken off guardianship cases 10 times


7 Responses to “Candidate was taken off guardianship cases 10 times”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Really, that is not what they do in Pinellas County, Florida. A guardian would have to kill a ward with their bare hands to get removed. The Guardians in Pinellas County rarely turn in reports on time! And they file for more time and then again for more time and the Judge's always give them what ever they want. I think it is because the same Judges use the same guardians over and over, so about 40 guardians have 40 to 50 wards, it is a good business, and they are too busy to turn in reports on time! The Judges must be their friends or they would make them follow the law, and use some of the other 100 to 200 guardians, so that each guardian only had a few. Then they could go get a real job to make ends meet. The Judges are the ones causing the problem when they extend the time they are breaking the law and making more money for their guardian friend. After all they have to get their attorney to file the paper to extend time to no follow the law. Check out the dockets in Pinellas Park Florida, be prepared to throw up!!!! See what kind of job Florida Judges do!!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Yes! everyone should check out the work of Judge Patrick Caddell, Judge Lauren Laughlin, and Judge Jack St. Arnold of Pinellas County, Florida. See how they work! and what they approve for their friends the guardians in Pinellas County, Florida. They don't seem to know there are laws and time frames to turn in reports or accountings! What a disgrace! and then what they pay them for that!!!

  3. Mark Says:

    Think she cares about the elderly????

  4. Evan Says:

    Obviously, she's either uncaring, inefficient, or just plain doesn't care. She didn't even apologize. I hope the word gets out to all who are considering voting for Gretchen DeBacker.

  5. Betty Says:

    If that's not a red flag against Gretchen DeBacker, I don't know what is!

  6. Bendigo Banksters Says:

    It is very interesting that he has been removed 10 times, that just tells me that there could be another 5 that he should have been removed for every one of the 10 that he was.There is a formula that is used by political analysts of the ratio of complaints, to the actual number of people that are of the same opinion and will vote accordingly.I can't remember the exact ratio, but my point is that there is always a greater number then the number you see or appears to be seen..!! It just sets off warning bells in my head, whenever I hear or read something like this..!!

  7. Irene Says:


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