Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:11PM - 267 Views

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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Portsmouth City Solicitor Mike Jones has resigned, effective the first of the year. In a letter to Portsmouth City Council, Jones said he has taken the position of court magistrate in the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division Court, where he will be working with newly-elected judge Jerry Buckler, who has been serving as an assistant city prosecutor in Jones’s office.

“First and foremost, I want to emphasize that it has been my pleasure working with everyone these past five years as City Solicitor,” Jones said in his resignation. “I have been truly honored and blessed to serve in this position and thank all of you for your support and dedication to this great city.”

Jones then announces in that correspondence that he has accepted the position.

“With a sad heart, I am hereby submitting my resignation as Portsmouth City Solicitor to be effective January 2, 2013,” Jones said in his letter. “Please know that I will help facilitate the transition for this office and I will always be a supporter and advocate of this great city.”

Jones cited the decision as an upward move in his career.

“I just think it is a good move for me professionally,” Jones said Thursday morning. “It will be another challenge in my life. And I’m looking forward to going over and working for the new judge, Judge Buckler. We have worked together for the last five years. He has worked in my office for the last five years. We have a very good working relationship. I’m excited to be working with him. It’s going to be an exciting new challenge for both of us.”

Jones has three years remaining on his current elected term.

“I will obviously send out a notice to City Council today, and they will then, I’m assuming, maybe put out indications to accept applications to fill my unexpired term,” Jones said. “They would then appoint someone to fill the remaining term. The restrictions are that it has to be someone who lives in the city of Portsmouth, and has practiced law for the last five years.”

Jones is a Portsmouth native and Portsmouth High School graduate. He graduated magna cum laude from Capital University in 1991 and earned a bachelor of arts degree in business administration and economics. He then attended Capital University Law School, where he graduated with honors in 1994, and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in November of 1994.

Jones was commissioned as an officer and served as a Judge Advocate General in the United States Navy on active duty for four years. While Jones was on active duty, he served as a prosecutor for the Trial Service Office at Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida and prosecuted over 200 court-martials, including three capital murder cases. He is still a member of the United States Naval Reserve and his current reserve unit supports the office of the Judge Advocate General Corps at the Pentagon.

In addition to his prosecution duties the last five years, Jones has acted as legal advisor to all city departments and City Council. Prior to becoming City Solicitor, Jones was a partner in the law firm of Baran, Piper, Tarkowski, Fitzgerald and Theis from 1999 to 2007.

Jones said he is “very sad to leave the city.”

“I’m going to miss it,” Jones said. “That’s the bottom line, I’m going to miss the people, the great staff, a great group of people at the city.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com.

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