McNicol sworn in as new municipal judge

Timothy McNicol (right) is sworn in as the Columbiana County Municipal Court's newest judge by the former judge, Christopher Amato, while his wife Marie holds the Bible on Wednesday. (Photo by Deanne Johnson)

LISBON — A gathering of county officials, local judges and family members were among those who welcomed Judge Timothy McNicol to the bench of the Columbiana County Municipal Court on Wednesday afternoon.

McNicol — who until recently served as an assistant county prosecutor at Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, a prosecutor for East Liverpool Municipal Court and handled mayor’s court in Wellsville — took the oath of office during a ceremony held in his courtroom in Columbiana County Municipal Court.

It was a true family event with McNicol’s daughters, Jenna and Emily, handing out programs and leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. McNicol’s wife, Marie, held the Bible during oath and helped him into his judge’s robe. The crowd included his brothers, his mother-in-law, uncle Jim and aunt Mary.

McNicol said he chose March 7, which would have been his father’s 90th birthday, but he lost both of his parents in 2002.

“I can tell you all that though we may be 10 days short of St. Patrick’s Day, there are Irish eyes smiling down on us,” McNicol said, adding he cannot think of anything that would have made his father more happy, except maybe a Notre Dame championship.

Besides thanking his family for their support, McNicol thanked county Prosecutor Bob Herron for giving him his first internship in the spring of 1990, which shaped his life and career.

“I can tell you without question I would not be here making this speech today had it not been for him,” McNicol said. “He has shown me nothing but guidance and friendship throughout the course of my entire career and for that I am entirely grateful.”

Additionally, McNicol thanked the staff at the prosecutor’s office, who he said he thinks of as family. He thanked Charles Payne and the staff of the East Liverpool law director’s office. He also thanked those from the mayor’s court in Wellsville.

McNicol was sworn in by his predecessor, Christopher Amato, who resigned and returned to private practice recently as an attorney. McNicol noted Amato was “instrumental” in making his goal a reality.

“Who would have thought a couple of 1980s grads from Wellsville could have pulled this off,” McNicol said, “but here we are.”

He also thanked Republican leaders for welcoming him into the party and entrusting him with such an important position.

“I’m fully aware of the challenges this court faces,” McNicol said, “most notably, dealing with the opioid epidemic, but I come to this new role with both enthusiasm and optimism. This positive attitude springs from my knowledge that I will have the opportunity to continue and expand this county’s first and only drug court as established by Judge Amato.”

McNicol went on to say Amato staffed the drug court with hard-working people, including Julie Tice, who serves as the drug court administrator.

“We will be committed to providing a compassionate and knowledgeable service to the victims of this disease as they face the most difficult times of their lives,” McNicol said.

McNicol also vowed to make a difference in the lives of the victims of drugs, operate the court as fairly and efficiently as possible and respect the rights and the time of those who come in front of him.