WILMINGTON — As a follow-up to the community forum in July on the local opiate epidemic, Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck has recruited community volunteers as members of a steering committee that will help prepare an application to the Ohio Supreme Court for the creation of a specialized drug court docket within Clinton County Common Pleas Court.
“The specialized court docket will provide more opportunities for me and other community organizations to be actively involved in the rehabilitation efforts of those charged with drug-related offenses,” Rudduck said. “It is hoped that this steering committee will develop a variety of programs to meet the unique needs of each participant.”
Committee members are:
• William B. McCracken, retired Clinton County Common Pleas Court judge;
• Brian Shidaker, chief felony prosecutor, Clinton County/law director, City of Wilmington;
• J. Michael Dobyns, Clinton County Bar Association;
• Joseph Dennis, former Clinton County public defender;
• Art Brooks, community volunteer;
• Eleanor Harris, community volunteer;
• Allen Willoughby, director, Sugartree Ministries;
• Russ Dern, executive director, Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Centers;
• Jeff Rhein, director of alcohol and drug addiction services, Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren and Clinton Counties;
• Ken Houghtaling, intervention in lieu of conviction specialist, Common Pleas Court; and
• Michele Cannon, associate director, Talbert House.
The first meeting of the committee will be Thursday, Aug. 28, at 4 p.m. in the Clinton County Common Pleas courtroom. Members of the public are invited to attend, and will be provided an opportunity for input, the judge said.