LIBERTY - The five judges of the Trumbull County Courthouse were honored for their contributions in enforcing the law and administering justice fairly at the annual gathering of the Liberty Historical Society.
The 14th annual dinner was held at St. Mark's Church with the LHS honoring judges Thomas A. Swift, W. Wyatt McKay, Andrew D. Logan, John M. Stuard and Peter Kontos.
Carol Faustino, president of the historical society, said each year the LHS looks to honor a different individual or group.
"We are proud of the five judges not only as a historical society but as a township, " Faustino said.
Congressman Tim Ryan, State Senator Capri Cafaro and the Trumbull County Commissioners also honored the judges with proclamations.
l Probate Court Judge Thomas A. Swift of Vienna is a graduate of Vienna High School and Kent State University and received his juris doctorate from University of Akron. He began serving as Trumbull County Probate judge in 1979 and has been a probate court judge for 30 years.
Swift is known for his advocacy for the elderly and a supporter of adoptions. Swift is a past president of Ohio Association of Probate Judges and a member of many committees for the Ohio Supreme Court and has been on task forces on elderly care, family violence, elder abuse, and healthcare.
A park in Braceville in the Trumbull County MetroParks system was named in his honor. He has been an adviser to the MetroParks since its creation.
Swift has two children and five grandchildren.
l Court of Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay has been a common pleas judge for 22 years. Before that he was chief of criminal division in the county prosecutor's office.
McKay is a graduate of Warren G. Harding High School in 1965, Kent State University and a 1973 University of Akron Law School graduate.
At age 37, McKay was the youngest judge ever elected to court of common pleas. He is currently the most senior judge of the court and was elected by the other judges as presiding judge of the Trumbull County Courthouse.
McKay has served more than nine capital cases.
He has been praised in newspaper articles and was once compared to Judge Roy Bean in his handling of cases.
He also enjoys playing the bagpipes.
l Common Pleas Judge John M. Stuard has been a common pleas judge since 1991 handling civil and criminal matters and prior to that served as judge of Central District Court in Cortland from 1983-1991. Prior to that he was a Warren city prosecutor starting in 1968.
Stuard is a 1965 graduate of Thiel College and received his juris doctorate from the University of Kentucky.
Stuard of Burghill has five children. He is interested in Civil War and the U.S. Constitution and owns his own war cannon.
He is marking his 40th year of practicing law.
Stuard is a member of the Hartford Optimists, Trumbull Farm Bureau, and Conservation Club with interest in wildlife conservation.
l Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew D. Logan has been a common pleas judge since 1995 and has served with Trumbull County courts since 1987. He has the largest common pleas court in the state of Ohio.
He began his career in 1979 and was elected judge of Central District Court in 1987.
Logan has four children and is active in Kinsman Rotary, Ohio Farm Bureau and the Masonic Lodge of Gustavus.
Logan is a graduate of Joseph Badger High School in 1968, The Ohio State University in 1972 and received his juris doctorate from Capitol University.
l Common Pleas Court Judge Peter J. Kontos was named the Ohio Assistant Prosecutor of the Year in 1996.
The Bowling Green State University graduate has successfully argued cases in the Court of Appeals in the Ohio Supreme Court.
Kontos began his career working in the Trumbull County prosecutor's office starting in 1979 serving for 17 years and served as chief of the criminal division from 1986 to 1996. He has successfully prosecuted several death penalty cases, the first child abuse case for the child assault unit and the first battered women's case in Trumbull County.
Recently, he was elected fourth vice president of the Ohio Common Please Judges Association.
Since 1997, he has served as a common pleas judge.
Kontos graduated from Warren G. Harding High School and magna cum laude from Bowling Green University and Ohio State University College of Law.
He has two children.