Saying that he enjoys being able to make a difference in the community, Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge William C. “Chad” Randolph has announced that he will seek the office for a full term in the May 2 primary election.
A Lynchburg native, Randolph officially took over municipal court duties on April 18, 2022, after being appointed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to replace David McKenna, who retired mid term on Oct. 31, 2021.
“Anyone that wants to come out and see how this court operates, how I make decisions and treat people, I am confident that they would be satisfied that justice is being done in this court,” Randolph said.
He said he did not always want to be a judge, “but when the opportunity presented itself, I felt it was time to move into that role of responsibility.” He said that once he accepted the position, his plan was always to run for a full term.
Raised in Highland County and a 1988 graduate of Lynchburg-Clay High School, Randolph has been a registered Republican since 1988. He grew up on a farm outside Lynchburg and showed horses for many years. He said he paid his way through school as a farrier, having learned the skills as a teenager.
He and his wife, Amanda, have four daughters and a son-in-law. His wife has worked in social services for nearly 20 years in both Highland and Clinton counties and is the deputy director at Clinton County Job and Family Services.
Randolph graduated magna cum laude from Wilmington College in 1992 with degrees in criminal justice and English. He attended the University of Cincinnati College of Law and received his juris doctor degree in 1995, sat for the Ohio Bar examination in July of 1995 and passed and was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in November 1995.
Prior to his appointment as judge of municipal court, Randolph was an assistant prosecuting attorney in Clinton County for 26 years. He was also an assistant prosecuting attorney in Highland County in 2000, when he was a part-time prosecutor for both Highland and Clinton counties. He practiced primarily in juvenile court in front of the judge Kevin Greer, but handled other responsibilities including civil, tax and felony cases.
“In Clinton County, I also practiced in every area of responsibility for the prosecutor’s office,” Randolph said in a prepared statement. “In the last 10 years of my service there, I was at any given time responsible for overseeing grand jury, juvenile delinquency and traffic cases, child support, child protection, administrative law, and drafting or reviewing contracts and memoranda of understanding for the Clinton County Department of Job and Family Services. I was legal services director for the Clinton County Department of Job and Family Services, which title I held since 2007 until my appointment to the bench. I am a past president of the Clinton County Bar Association. I also served as counsel for the Highland County Water Company from January 2021 through April 15, 2022.”
Since his appointment in April, Randolph said he has initiated improvements to the court’s filing system by upgrading the case management system technology. He said the court is now accepting the filing of e-citations from the Ohio State Highway Patrol as the first step in the upgrade. He said the computer system improvements that are scheduled to be implemented this year will permit the court to keep records of all cases electronically, and that the upgrades are expected to improve the efficiency of the court, both in the timeliness of case resolution and in the associated costs.
“Being conservative, I am sensitive to the fact that the money to pay for these improvements comes from the taxpayers. With respect for, and consideration of our local taxpayers, I wrote a successful grant application to the Ohio Department of Public Service. The court has received a ($29,000) grant from the Ohio Department of Public Service which will be applied directly to the contracted costs of the computer upgrades,” he said. “I am also completing another technology grant application with the Supreme Court of Ohio which would provide further funding for the scheduled improvements to the court’s case management system. Regardless, be assured that these upgrades are being achieved without increasing the court’s budget.
Randolph said he is aware that court cases often arise from, or create, powerful emotions.
“Often those emotions can strain the bounds of reason. It has been seen over and over in our country where someone with no history of such behavior walks into a business, school or church and creates terror and mayhem, destroying lives and families in seconds,” he said. “I realized that our municipal court had no armed security during open court sessions. I now have established a position for an independent contractor who is retired law enforcement and is armed and present during court hours. I will continue to act with responsibility and prudence when it comes to the security of my staff and those who appear before me in court. This necessary precaution was achieved with efficient use of taxpayer money, and there is no increase in the court’s budget.
“I believe that common sense, straight talk, plain interpretation of law, empathy, humility and thoughtfulness are qualities of a judge that can help make our community a better place to live,” Randolph continued. “I believe I have exhibited those attributes during my time on the bench.
“I also believe that the Constitution means what it meant when it was written. I do not abide by the premise that the Constitution is a ‘living document’ which is to be continually reinterpreted. Thomas Jefferson said, quite rightly, that ‘…In matters of fashion, one should swim with the current, but in matters of principle one should stand like a rock.’ Liberty and freedom are truly secure only when it is insisted that our rights are immutable and therefore incapable of being eroded or erased by redefinition.”
Randolph said he has not sought political office or any judicial position in the past.
”This is frankly because I have long valued my privacy, and in raising my children I wanted to always put their needs above those of my own personal ambition,” he said. “I taught Sunday school and Bible school every year. I coached basketball, softball and 18 seasons of soccer. I am very much at peace with those decisions, and the time and experiences with my children I would not trade for anything in this world. But now the time has come for my generation to step forward and continue the excellent judicial leadership this county has been blessed with. I believe that my experience, temperament and judicial philosophy have served the community well since my appointment and will continue to have a positive impact if I am elected. In seeking this position, my motivation is not prestige, it is public service. With that said, I humbly ask for your support and vote on May 2.”