Cuyahoga County’s 1st female Administrative and Presiding Judge dies
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Judge Nancy McDonnell passed away on Sept. 28, but her legacy as a ‘trailblazer’ who served as the first female Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas judge lives on in the legal community.
The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas announced her death “with deep, deep sadness” shortly after her passing on Tuesday afternoon “with her husband, John Kosko, by her side.”
“Judge McDonnell was a trailblazer, serving as our Court’s first female Administrative and Presiding Judge from 2006-2009. Her nearly 25 years on the Bench were distinguished, and she brought compassion and caring to her role as a Judge,” the court said.
As a Cleveland-area native, she was a graduate of Regina High School in South Euclid.
She then attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. before returning home to graduate from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
McDonnell served as an Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor in the Mayor Trial Division and was a Magistrate in the Lakewood Municipal Court before joining the Bench in 1997.
The McDonnell Center Community Based Correctional Facility was dedicated in her name when it was built and opened in 2010.
McDonnell most recently presided over the Cuyahoga County Drug Court.
“Judge McDonnell was, quite simply, one of the strongest persons I have ever known,” says current Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan J. Sheehan. “This is a sad day for our Court and Judge Nancy McDonnell’s extended personal and professional family. However, we, and the citizens of Cuyahoga County, were fortunate to have had her on our Bench and in our lives.”
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