Candidate Profiles

Jodi Thomas

Candidate for:
Franklin County Municipal Court

Undergraduate Education:
Bachelor of Science in Social Work from The Ohio State University (1998), License in Social Work (LSW)

Legal Education:
Juris Doctor, Capital University Law School (2001)

Legal Experience:

  • Judge of the Franklin County Municipal Court, April 2016 - present
  • Staff Attorney at the Franklin County Public Defender's Office Municipal Division, 2002-2016
  • Attorney Group Leader at Franklin County Public Defender's Office, 2007-2013
  • Lead Attorney from the Franklin County Public Defender's Office for the Franklin County Specialized Dockets, 2013-2016 (Opiate Extension Program, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Program, Mental Health Court, and the Military and Veterans Service Program)

Candidate Statement:

As a defense attorney, my role was to zealously advocate for my client. I have represented thousands of people using a practice style that not only protected their rights, but also tried to put them on a better path in life. My effort and commitment to understanding the nature of addiction and mental health, and how it impacts criminal behavior, helped me better advocate for my clients and led to recognition in the community. I was chosen twice by the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County as Attorney of the year for my work in Mental Health Court and the Opiate Extension Program. I received the Excellent Service Award by the Military and Veterans Service Program. I also received the Model of Justice Award from the Justice League of Ohio for my work with victims of human trafficking. I want to continue to use the tools and experiences I have obtained and apply them to my role as a judge.

During my time as an attorney working with the heroin population and victims of human trafficking, I frequently witnessed the powerful role that a judge can play in improving the lives of individuals, while simultaneously improving the safety of our community. I feel I am doing just that. I have now been on the bench for over three years and the feedback from other attorneys and employees has been extremely positive. I am really proud of my results in the judicial performance poll especially because I am one of the newer judges. I work hard each day to examine each case and apply a sentence that is appropriate both for the needs of that individual and the overall safety of the community. One of my goals will always be for litigants to leave the courtroom believing as though they were treated with dignity and respect, even if they do not agree with the outcome.

In January of 2018, I was selected by my colleagues to preside over the opiate specific drug court now called the h.a.r.t program, (Helping Achieve Recovery Together). I have taken on this extra responsibility because I believe in these programs and how they are saving lives. I am working to help change stigmas relating to addiction and mental health disorders, especially with justice involved individuals. My team and I are turning our focus not just on getting people clean and off these dangerous substances, but to address the barriers such as employment, housing, and transportation that prevent someone from being in recovery and staying in recovery, which in turn reduces recidivism. I am passionate about the work I am doing on the bench and out in the community, and I hope that I will get the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Franklin County.

Columbus Bar Association
2019 Judiciary Committee Finding:

Highly Recommended

Columbus Bar Association
Judicial Poll Results:

2019 Judicial Preference Poll

Running Against:
Trent Dougherty

The Columbus Bar Association does not endorse any judicial candidate.