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