August 30, 2014

Elyria
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A month into job, judge appoints her third bailiff

ELYRIA — Lorain County Domestic Relations Judge Lisa Swenski has been on the job for less than a month and is on her third bailiff.

Swenski

Swenski said Thursday she has hired Dan Urbin, who resigned last month from his longtime job as bailiff for county Common Pleas Judge James Burge, to replace her current bailiff, Alan Wack.

Wack, who served as bailiff for Swenski’s predecessor, former Domestic Relations Judge David Berta, declined to comment on his departure. Swenski defeated Berta in the March Democratic primary and was unopposed in the November general election.

Wack replaced Doug Shawver, who resigned as Swenski’s bailiff less than a week into her term after she learned his driver’s license had been suspended since 2009 and that he hadn’t told her about the problem. Shawver also drove while working on Swenski’s campaign and drove to the Lorain County Justice Center on his first day of work.

Swenski said when she hired Wack it was only for 10 months, which would allow him to gain enough time as a public employee to retire. After that, she planned to hire Duane Anderson to fill the job.

Swenski said Thursday that it didn’t occur to her when she brought Wack back that he might be looking for a job that would last longer than 10 months. She said that he was leaving to look for a more long-term position and that she will support his job hunt and even vouch for him getting another job in the court system.

“Alan’s a good guy, and this is just something I’m going to keep private,” Swenski said. “He didn’t do anything wrong.”

With Wack looking for another job, Swenski said it raised the possibility that she might find herself without a bailiff in a few months before Anderson was able to start work.

Urbin, who did not return calls seeking comment Thursday, was immediately available to take on the role and will hold the job until Anderson starts, Swenski said.

“Dan needs a job, the job is open, and Dan’s been an experienced bailiff,” she said.

Swenski said she consulted with Burge before hiring Urbin and he told her his former bailiff was a good choice.

Urbin has declined to comment on his reasons for leaving Burge’s office, and Burge said Urbin left to pursue other employment opportunities.

“I’m happy for Dan if that’s what he wants,” Burge said Thursday about Urbin’s new job.

Burge appointed attorney Joe Tackett as his new bailiff earlier this week.

Wack’s last day will be Feb. 8 and Urbin will start Feb. 11, Swenski said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.