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Meet the 3 candidates seeking to become Boone County’s next circuit court judge

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Three candidates are seeking the office of Boone County Circuit Court Judge, an office that has opened up with Judge Jeff Edens deciding not to seek re-election.

Lori N. Schein

Age: 47

City: Zionsville

Occupation: Attorney, currently deputy general counsel at the Indiana BMV

Years in county? I have lived in Boone County since 2001. I previously resided in Boone County from 1995 to 1996 before moving to Indianapolis.

How did your family end up in Boone County? My husband grew up in Boone County and is a 1988 graduate of Zionsville Community High School. The Schein family has resided in Zionsville since the 1970s. Rob and I moved back to Zionsville after having two of our four children so that we could be closer to family.

Why do you want to run for elected office? I am running for the position of Circuit Court Judge because I want to make a positive impact on our community.

What is your previous political experience? I have no previous political experience and this is my first campaign. However, I am a graduate of the Lugar Series, a women’s leadership program, and I am the former secretary of the Boone County Republican Party. I resigned from that position to run for judge.

What are your top priorities if elected? My top priority is to run an efficient and fair court with an emphasis on being firm with habitual criminals. I will participate in community discussions related to the opioid epidemic and I will use the position as judge in any way I can to help stem the crisis of drug abuse in our community.

What are the biggest issues facing the Boone County residents that your office can impact? The biggest issue is the ongoing opioid crisis. We need to get tough on habitual criminals who are in and out of our jails and who are distributing and abusing these drugs. We need to focus our attention on prevention with additional education and treatment for children, and we need to get children out of homes where drug abuse is occurring.

What are your qualifications to run for this office? I have been an attorney since 2003. I have civil litigation experience and criminal law experience. I was a deputy prosecutor in Boone County for several years, and I worked in the Boone Circuit Court as a juvenile deputy prosecutor. I am the mother of four children and I understand the challenges families face day in and day out. I like people and I care about what happens to my fellow residents. I will listen with an open mind and will not pre-judge any case.

What is your favorite thing about Boone County? My favorite thing about Boone County is the strength and enthusiasm of our community. There are many positive things happening here and so many people who are working hard to have a positive impact on Boone County. I am looking forward to the future of Boone County.

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected? I would like to continue working with our local schools to address drug problems with children and to emphasize greater and earlier education to young people on the dangers of drugs. I would like to bring back a Teen Court as an effective problem-solving court for young people. As a judge, I would hope to work with other elected officials and community leaders to address the opioid crisis.

Favorite local restaurant: So many great choices, but either Rush on Main or Noah Grants.

Favorite movie: Tie: “Gone With The Wind” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Favorite quote or motto: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

Family: Husband Rob (married 21 years), kids: Sam (18) headed to Purdue School of Engineering in the fall, Sarah (17), junior at ZCHS, Matthew (15) ,freshman at ZCHS and Luke (11), fifth-grader at ZMS.

Pets: Major, 10-year-old golden retriever and two cats: Oscar and Peter. One adopted fish.

Favorite vacation: Turks and Caicos or anywhere with a beach.

Something you would like readers to know about you: I love meeting new people, and I think everyone has a story to tell.

Something most people do not know about you: I was in Berlin, West Germany on Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down. Long story.

 

Tamie Jo Morog

Age: 60

City: Lebanon

Occupation: Attorney, mediator

How many years have you lived in Boone County? 20 this August

How did you and your family end up in Boone County? My parents moved to Boone County in approximately 1981. When my husband and I decided to move back to Indiana, his office was in Tippecanoe County and I thought I would practice law in Indianapolis, which I did for a couple of years.

Why do you want to run for elected office? In my time practicing in the Boone Circuit Court, Justice (Steve) David and Judge (Jeff) Edens have run the court well and are both respected for their service on the bench. I have been a family law attorney for 17 years and I want the bench to continue to be respected and to have a judge that is well-versed in family law issues. The court is a court of general jurisdiction, meaning it hears all types of cases. This court, however, is the only court in Boone County that hears juvenile delinquency, Children in Need of Services and paternity cases. Many attorneys file divorce cases in this court. In addition, I have represented many families who have been injured due to the opioid issues. As the judge in this court, I hope that I can help the families who are facing this catastrophe. My experiences in family law and the experience I received as the Judge of the Lebanon City Court are well suited for this court.

What is your previous political experience? I ran and was elected to serve as the Lebanon City Court Judge. I was the last Lebanon City Court Judge, as the court was closed by the City Council.

What are your top priorities if elected? As a judge, my responsibility is to apply the law to the facts of a case and render a fair decision. I will do that in any case in which I serve as judge.

What are the biggest issues facing Boone County residents that your office can impact? As an attorney, I have worked with numerous families that are affected by: 1) one or both parents having a felony on their record; 2) the use of illegal substances; 3) divorce; 4) children born out of wedlock; 5) guardianship issues; 6) grandparent visitation; 7) college issues, and; 8) almost any other legal issue that a family may have to face. These are the issues that affect the most Boone County residents.

What are your qualifications to run for this office? I have been married to my husband Jim for 37 years and raised 3 successful daughters. I have practiced law for 17 years and served as judge of the City of Lebanon Court.

What is your favorite thing about Boone County? The volunteers we have in the community and the opportunities we have to volunteer.

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected? A judge is limited in bringing about change. But, as judge of the Boone Circuit Court I promise that I will treat everyone who comes into that court with respect, courtesy and as a person who has the potential to make a positive contribution to our community in Boone County.

Favorite local restaurant: Fortunately, there are many restaurants in Boone County that could be called my favorite depending on which city/town I eat in.

Favorite movie: “An Affair to Remember” with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant.

Favorite quote or motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Family: James Morog – married for 37 years; daughters: Ashley Morog Starkey, Christina Morog and Julie Venis. Brothers: Keith, Dana and Troy Aeschliman. My mother-in-law, Lois Morog, resides in Lebanon. My parents and father-in-law, Walt and Betty Aeschliman and Joseph Morog, respectively, are deceased.

Pets: Grand dogs – Jack, Natty, Charlie and Bentley. Bentley is also my office dog.

Favorite vacation: Tuscany Region of Italy or climbing the Inca Trail into Machu Picchu

Something you’d like readers to know about you: I enjoy adventures: skydiving, snorkeling, mushing dogs, flying a fighter plane, snowmobiling through Yellowstone and zip lining are just a few adventures I have been able to experience.

Something most people don’t know about you: In 1981, I ran and finished the Dallas Marathon

 

Todd J. Meyer

Age: 45

City: Lebanon

Occupation: Boone County Prosecuting Attorney

How many years have you lived in Boone County? 40 years

How did you and your family end up in Boone County? My mother and father moved our family to Lebanon when my father became the pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Lebanon.

Why do you want to run for elected office? It has been my great honor and privilege to serve the people of Boone County as their elected prosecutor for over 15 years. It is now time for me and my family to turn the page and start on the next chapter of my career in public service. I believe I have more to offer the people of Boone County, but need to do so from a different perspective. That said, upon learning that current Circuit Court Judge Jeff Edens was not going to run for re-election, I decided the time was right for me to run for the office to become Boone County’s next Circuit Court Judge. In doing so, I leave behind a job I love, that of being prosecutor, but I am excited for the future and what I can do as judge to help Boone County accomplish great success.

What is your previous political experience?

  • Boone County Council, elected at-large member, 2001 – October 2002
  • Appointed Prosecuting Attorney, October 2002 – December 2002
  • Elected Prosecuting Attorney, January 2003 – December 2006
  • Elected Prosecuting Attorney, January 2007 – December 2010
  • Elected Prosecuting Attorney, January 2011 – December 2014
  • Elected Prosecuting Attorney, January 2015 – present

What are your top priorities if elected? Boone Circuit Court maintains jurisdiction over criminal, civil and juvenile cases. With my background in both the civil and criminal practice of law, along with my work in the juvenile court and with DCS family law, I have the experience to lead Boone County Circuit Court as judge. I believe that competing differences can and must be resolved in a court of law in a civil and respectful manner and ensuring that happens will be a priority of mine as judge. I believe I have a clear understanding of the Boone County justice system and the values important to the citizens of Boone County. With over 21 years of experience working in the Boone County justice system, under my leadership, the people of Boone County will know that as their Circuit Court Judge I will prioritize the fair, efficient and diligent administration of justice, the protection of all litigants’ rights and holding criminal offenders accountable.

What are the biggest issues facing Boone County residents that your office can impact? One of the areas where the Circuit Court Judge can have the most impact in the community relates to the court’s involvement with our community’s children and their families in both juvenile delinquency cases and child in need of services cases. I have seen firsthand, as prosecutor, where the Circuit Court judge’s involvement with the families and children involved in these cases has had a positive impact in their lives and in turn on our community. It is so important to be engaged in the lives of our community’s at-risk youth as early as possible. I am a strong advocate for the children of Boone County, hence my work in founding Sylvia’s Child Advocacy Center, and as the Circuit Court Judge, I will be dedicated to working with the families and children of our community, as well as those individuals who serve their best interests, to see that they are provided with the programming and services they need to support the children of our community in order to help them become productive members of society.

What are your qualifications to run for this office? For my campaign I developed a David Letterman style top 10 list outlining my career highlights and achievements that qualify me to be the next Circuit Court Judge. It is as follows:

  • Extensive jury trial and bench trial experience – In my career as an attorney I’ve tried over 25 jury trials and numerous bench trials. A former Boone County judge says this about my trial experience: “There is no substitute for trial experience in a judicial candidate.” I am the only candidate for Circuit Court Judge who has the trial experience needed to do the job right.
  • Founded Sylvia’s Child Advocacy Center. I am a proven and effective community leader who can accomplish large scale, collaborative and highly impactful projects.
  • Robust and successful civil law practice for six years prior to becoming prosecutor – I have a broad familiarity with all areas of the law.
  • Worked with lawmakers to implement new public safety laws – I am a professional who is proven to be able to find solutions to problems and work with others to accomplish them.
  • Serve as a board member and past chairman of the Board of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council – I am a proven leader among leaders.
  • Served as an officer of the Indiana State Bar Association as well as a board member – Lawyers in Indiana and the leadership of the State Bar Association have placed their trust in me in representing their professional interests.
  • Received two Indiana State Bar Association awards for exceptional legal service – I have proven that I can excel in my field of work.
  • 2011 recipient of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty under 40” Award. Fourteen years into my legal career I demonstrated my professional aptitude and potential for future success.
  • Elected at-large member of the Boone County Council
  • Four unopposed terms (16 years) as Prosecutor. For over 18 years, I have dedicated myself to public service and have a proven track record that the people of Boone County have come to know and can trust.

What is your favorite thing about Boone County? Its people. Over the course of my lifetime I have gotten to know many of the people who live in Boone County and now in service to them as their prosecutor for the past 15-plus years I have gotten to know them even better. I wouldn’t trade the people of Boone County for anything!

What changes do you hope to bring about if elected? I don’t believe bringing about “change” is a big part of my candidacy for Circuit Court Judge. I say this because the people of Boone County have been blessed with top quality Circuit Court Judges who have done an outstanding job presiding over the court. I can say this about change though, Boone County will experience a great deal of change over these next five to 10 years and during this period of change I will do my best to represent the people of Boone County as their Circuit Court Judge and will make certain that the legal challenges I may be faced with as judge will be resolved in a fair and efficient manner, according to the rule of law, in order to ensure that justice is always served.

Favorite local restaurant: We’re lucky to have so many good local restaurants to choose from, so this is tough. I’m a big fan of Mexican food, so I’d have to say El Jaripeo in Lebanon and the Salty Cowboy in Zionsville.

Favorite movie: “A Few Good Men”

Favorite quote or motto: “If you have to choose between being kind and being right, choose being kind and you will always be right.”

Family: My wife, Mary Frances – we’ve been together for 25 years and married for 21 years. We have three boys – Toby (age 14) and twins Tyler and Billy (age 11).

Pets: Dog named Husker, Cat named Callie and the twins inherited their 3rd grade classroom mascot two years ago, a pet tarantula spider named Charlotte.

Favorite vacation: Spring break vacation with the family to Marco Island, Fla.

Something you’d like readers to know about you: I’m an avid golfer, and this year I have the pleasure of coaching the Lebanon Middle School boys golf team that my son Toby is on.

Something most people don’t know about you: Aside from sporting events, I don’t watch a great deal of TV, but I do enjoy watching “This Old House” on PBS and HGTV and then trying my hand at some of the home renovation projects I’ve seen on those shows.


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