New judge sworn in, looks forward to work

Joshua Hudson

Judge John Enlow swears in William Nome as Portage County Municipal Court Judge. The ceremony took place yesterday afternoon at the Portage County Courthouse in front of a full courtroom.

Credit: Andrew popik

Most people think of February as a dark, cold month that has an unusual number of days, one of which is Valentine’s Day.

But for William Nome, February is the most exciting month of the year.

He met his wife Carolyn in February 1978, married her in February ’81 and her birthday also resides in the month. Now, Nome added another day to his jam-packed February calendar — the day he was officially sworn in as Portage County Municipal Court Judge.

With his left hand on the Bible, which was held by his wife, and his right hand in the air, Nome completed a hectic week with an official ceremony in Judge John Enlow’s packed courtroom at the Portage County Courthouse in Ravenna.

He said he is happy to be finally sworn in and is looking forward to the challenges of the new job.

“This is the best time because now I am officially a judge, but I haven’t had a chance to do anything for people to complain about,” he said.

Nome, 53, was appointed to the position by Gov. Bob Taft after a series of interviews and paperwork by a governor’s committee. He was forced to give up his private practice at Arthur, Nome & Associates to turn his attention to being a full-time judge.

Nome takes over the position vacated by Judge Laurie Pittman. Pittman resigned from her seat after winning election to the Portage County Common Pleas Court last November. Nome will be forced to run for retainment after Pittman’s remaining term is up in November.

He said he hasn’t given much thought about running, but Norm Sandvoss, head of the Portage County Republican Party’s executive committee, said there is no time to waste.

“I will start planning for his retainment right away,” he said. “Judge Barb Oswick and Judge Nome are both up for election at the same time, so I have no time to waste.”

Judge Enlow began the ceremony by giving a speech about his time in municipal court and what duties he thinks the job entails. He said the court was his favorite because he got to work a lot with the people.

Nome, who will earn a maximum salary of $105,950, will get a chance to find out what Enlow means, since today was his first day on the job. He said everyone has been patient and helping him learn the ins and outs of his new job. He also cracked a joke about his name.

“I have the important distinction of being the only judge not named Barbara in Portage County,” he said. “Everyone has helped me out and have indicated that they will continue to help me out until I get the job right.”

Nome also cracked a joke about having to borrow a robe that fit him, since he is much taller than Oswick. His own robe won’t be delivered for another six months.

He ended his speech with a promise to Portage County that he will uphold the law and make fair and balanced rulings.

“It is my honor and privilege to follow the judges before me,” he said. “And I pledge to all of you, so help me God, that I will render decisions fairly and impartially to the best of my ability.”

Contact public affairs reporter Joshua Hudson at [email protected].