By Sue Botos
Rocky River Municipal Court Judge Brian Hagan and Clerk of Court Deborah Comery have announced their intention to place their names on the May 7 primary ballot. Both Hagan and Comery are serving the final year of their first six-year term.
Hagan was elected to the municipal bench in 2007, when he edged out incumbent Maureen Adler Graves by a 10,996 to 9,868 margin. Prior to that, he was voted to two terms on Rocky River City Council, where he served as council president and as chairman of the Contracts-Government and Judicial Committee. He was also a member of the Parks and Recreation, Environmental and Finance committees.
Before assuming the bench, Hagan was in private law practice, having been admitted to the Ohio State Bar in 1981. He has been a Rocky River Municipal Court acting judge, magistrate and referee. As judge, he has served as administrative/presiding judge in 2008, 2010 and 2012. He was also president of the Northern Ohio Municipal Judges Association last year.
Hagan was special counsel for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and also served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the Ohio Military Reserve. He requested and was assigned by the state Supreme Court to sit as a visiting judge in the Berea, Parma, and Toledo municipal courts.
The St. Ignatius High School graduate earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Francis College in Pennsylvania, and his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
“I’m humbly seeking the support of the West Side for another term as their judge,” Hagan commented.
Comery, also elected to her court position in 2007, had served as chief deputy clerk under William Gareau from 1996 through 2007.
In her time as clerk, Comery has been instrumental in updating the court’s technology, such as its state-of-the-art computer software system, research and acquisition of a collection agency at no charge to the court, and implementation of a computer imaging system.
Comery also developed the court’s website, which provides almost complete online access to all records and implementation of the E-Certified Mail System and E-Filing, as well as interfacing with the police department.
A member of several professional organizations, Comery was named Clerk of the Year by the Ohio Association of Municipal and County Court Clerks (OAMCCC) in May 2011. She also received the group’s Professional Certification Award that year.
An active member of the OAMCCC, serving as secretary in 2009, Comery created and chairs the association’s Electronic Communications Committee. She has also been an active member of the North East Ohio Municipal Court Clerks, Association holding several offices, including that of president in 2012.
Comery says she plans to keep the Rocky River Municipal Court as one of the most efficient, technologically advanced courts in the state.