Nick McWilliams reporting – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has appointed a Uhrichsville native to head the Tuscarawas County Court Southern District.

James J. Ong will take over in the Southern District seat for Brad Hillyer, who retired in January after 22 years.

Set to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term until the November 2024 election, Ong says that he expressed interest in the position and was happy to receive appointment from DeWine’s office.

Additionally, he said he feels he can step in seamlessly after filing in in the court as acting judge for 15 years, and also his roles in other municipalities.

“In my position as law director for Uhrichsville and solicitor for the village of Tuscarawas or when I was the solicitor for the village of Dennison, I would prosecute cases in Tuscarawas County courts, so I’ve got a long involvement with the court. Which, hopefully, has prepared me to take on this position.”

He has worked with Hillyer at Connolly, Hillyer, and Ong law firm in Uhrichsville, along with attorney and State Representative Brett Hillyer.

Ong will officially take over on Monday, May 29th, and will resign his post in Uhrichsville before that date.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Hiram College in 1993 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron Law School in 1997.

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