Judge Cheryl L. Waite is running for her fourth term as a judge on the 7th District Court of Appeals. She graduated from Youngstown State University in 1982, and went on to receive her Juris Doctorate law degree from Cleveland-Marshall School of Law, Cleveland State University in 1985. She was admitted to the Ohio bar that same year. She clerked for various law firms in both Cleveland and Youngstown during law school, and was then hired as an Assistant Law Director for the City of Youngstown, attaining the post of First Assistant. She also served as the City’s acting Risk Manager beginning in 1991. From 1986 to 1995, she also had a private law practice.
As Assistant Law Director, she was admitted to practice in the Federal Court of Appeals in 1986 and the United States Supreme Court in 1992. During her time at the Law Director's Office, she litigated and argued numerous appeals in the Ohio Courts of Appeals, the Ohio Supreme Court, and the Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Waite was elected to the 7th District Court of Appeals in November 1996. After a hard-fought campaign in which she faced opponents in both the primary and general elections, she became the first woman ever elected to this Court. She was re-elected in 2002 and 2008. She was also the first woman to serve as presiding judge of the 7th District Court of Appeals, holding that office from February of 2003-2005, and again from 2011-2013.
When Judge Waite was first elected in 1996, the 7th District Court of Appeals occupied part of the fourth floor of the Mahoning County Courthouse in very limited space that was inadequate for the 4 judges and 17 staff members of the Court. Soon after Judge Waite took office in early 1997, she promoted plans for the relocation the 7th District Court of Appeals to more acceptable quarters. She championed the idea that a new 7th District Court of Appeals courthouse could be economically built in downtown Youngstown, using already existing funding sources. The $3.4 million building project commenced in March 2005, and the new courthouse, located on West Federal Street in Youngstown, was officially dedicated on June 16, 2006.
The 7th District is comprised of eight Ohio counties: Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson, Carroll, Belmont, Harrison, Monroe and Noble. Judge Waite hears the appeals arising from all the 74 trial judges in those counties, except for death penalty appeals decided after 1995, which go directly to the Ohio Supreme Court. In her three terms as Judge, she has authored over 1,100 judicial opinions and has sat on over 4,000 case panels, almost all of which are published by the Ohio Supreme Court or other legal sources such as Westlaw. Judge Waite has also served on the Ohio Supreme Court a number of times, having been selected by the Chief Justice to sit by assignment.
Judge Waite was appointed by the late Chief Justice Thomas Moyer of the Ohio Supreme Court to serve as the Court of Appeals representative on the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission from 2000-2004.
She is a member of Ohio State Bar Association and served on its Committee on the Independent Judiciary and the Unjust Criticism of Judges. Her other memberships include the American Judges Association, Youngstown State University Alumni Association, and the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi. She is also a member of the Ohio Courts of Appeals Judges Association, and was elected Secretary/Treasurer of that prestigious body in 2013.
She served for 12 years on the Board of Trustees of the Youngstown YWCA and was the chair of its personnel committee for several years. In addition, she served as President of the YWCA’s Board during its recent multi-million dollar renovation project. She also served as President of the Board of Directors of Gateways Industries, Inc. after serving for 8 years on the Board of Directors of Gateways to Better Living, Inc.
In January 2000 she was a recipient of the Mahoning Valley Women’s Political Caucus Judicial Excellence Award.
Judge Waite is married to Attorney Edwin Romero. They have two children, Alexis and Evan, both currently attending Ohio colleges.
Prepared and operated by The Committee to Re-elect Judge Waite, Ed Romero Treasurer, 1300 Aspen Ln., Youngstown, Ohio 44514