Date set for replacement Mahoning County probate judge to take o - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Date set for replacement Mahoning County probate judge to take office

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Attorney Robert Rusu will take the oath of office to become Mahoning Probate Judge on July 8. The swearing in ceremony will take place the day before the man he replaces, former Judge Mark Belinky is scheduled to be sentenced for a count of felony tampering with records.

Rusu, whose office is in Canfield, has practiced probate law for over 20 years, handling estates, guardianships, contested wills, adoptions and more. Attorney Rusu tells 21 News, "The majority of cases have been in Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana Probate Courts. I have handled about 1,400 cases in Mahoning Probate Court since 1993."

Rusu was selected by Ohio's Governor John Kasich after a committee formed by the Republican Party selected the names of three qualified candidates for consideration. The process was triggered after Belinky, a Democrat, resigned while under investigation.

Rusu, who has co-authored a book on probate law, said he sees this as an opportunity to bring integrity back to the court. "I wanted to offer something back to our community. I knew I had the experience, and that I could help people."

Rusu explained that probate court touches people's lives often when they are in a time of crisis, such as the death or incompetence of a loved one, and during what can be a happy time during adoptions. He also pointed out that if people want to get married or change their name in Mahoning County, they also must go through probate court.

Rusu, who is from Youngstown, has a wife, four children, and a two-year-old granddaughter.

He will serve the unexpired term left vacant by Belinky which ends January 2015. Rusu is also running as an Independent for Mahoning Probate Judge in the General Election this November.


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