By Kevin Kelley
City Council members unanimously confirmed Law Director John Wheeler’s nomination of Sean Kelleher and Gregory Sponseller as assistant law directors/prosecutors at their July 18 meeting. The attorneys prosecute cases on behalf of Westlake at the Rocky River Municipal Court.
Sean Kelleher, who had held the municipal prosecutor II position since 2001, moves to the prosecutor I position previously held by Andrea Rocco. Earlier this year, Rocco resigned that post to become the Cuyahoga County clerk of courts. Kelleher’s appointment is retroactive to April 9.
Kelleher received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada and his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
“He has the respect of all the police as well as the court,” Wheeler said of Kelleher. He will work an average of 30 hours per week at an annual salary of $50,000, Wheeler said.
Sponseller served as law director of Berea for more than two decades. He also served as prosecutor for Berea and Olmsted Township for 23 years. He received his undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1977 and his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1982.
Wheeler told council members he has known Sponseller for years and litigated a number of cases against him.
“He’s very well respected,” Wheeler said of Sponseller.
Sponseller’s appointment to the prosecutor II position was effective Aug. 1. He will work an average of 15 hours per week at an annual salary of $30,000, Wheeler said.
During a May council committee meeting regarding the structure of the law department, Wheeler and council members agreed that the prosecutor II position would be considered part-time and ineligible for health care benefits. In June, council passed an ordinance limiting most part-time workers to no more than 25 hours per week in order to avoid providing health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Previously, all prosecutors
and other assistant law directors had been offered health insurance even if they worked part time. Council decided to end that policy for the sake of consistency.
Besides Kelleher and Sponseller, Robin Leasure serves as the law department’s other assistant law director. She handles civil matters for the city.