Cuyahoga County Judge Joseph Russo dies unexpectedly at 59


CLEVELAND — Judge Joseph D. Russo died unexpectedly Saturday night, according to the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He was 59 years old.

A graduate of St. Joseph High School and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Russo joined the bench at Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in 2001.

“Joe Russo has been my colleague on the Bench for 12 years, and his loss will be felt by the legal community and the citizens of Cuyahoga County,” said Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan J. Sheehan. ”Our thoughts and prayers are with Judge Russo’s family and friends.”

Until a replacement is appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine, a visiting judge will be appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to preside over Russo’s cases.

Russo’s death comes less than a week after the death of Cuyahoga County Judge Nancy McDonnell, who died at the age of 61 on Sept. 28. She had spent nearly 25 years on the bench.

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