All Smiles for Pioneering Chief Justice Farewell
By Csaba Sukosd | December 21, 2022
Hundreds of supporters gathered recently to celebrate Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor's historic leadership of the state judiciary, her impact, and legacy.
Family, friends, and peers joined judges, lawyers, and court staff to honor Chief Justice O'Connor for the dedication of her portrait at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center.
"I did not set out on my journey to be chief justice of the Supreme Court, but service is in my DNA, and my education, my hard work, and my opportunities along the way brought me here," said Chief Justice O'Connor.
The first woman chief justice led the charge on complex problems throughout her tenure including bail reform, the opioid crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent documentary - Raising the Bar: The Maureen O'Connor Years - details her work to improve the judicial system. The chief justice attacked some of the biggest problems through collaboration, including diverse groups of people to ensure fairness and access to justice for all Ohioans.
"Fair and compassionate, the two things that are all-too-often overlooked in an incredible leader and servant," said Pierce Reed, the chief justice's former senior judicial attorney.
Former Governor Bob Taft called her a "model" public servant for her dedication to public service which led her to work tirelessly on many fronts in Ohio and nationally.
"I think the chief saw it as her responsibility to push government, to push courts, to push others to think about other ways of doing better, and equally importantly, being better," said Michael Buenger, the Court's former administrative director.
"She didn't ever have the fear to do the right thing," said former Governor John Kasich, "She's a great lady."