A bipartisan crowd of over 400 friends, lawyers, mayors, and other elected officials packed Rocky River Memorial Hall on Thursday night to help Rocky River Municipal Court Judge Donna Congeni Fitzsimmons kick off her re-election campaign for Judge of the Rocky River Municipal Court. The Rocky River Municipal Court serves the citizens of Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River, and Westlake. The election will be held on November 7th.
Judge Fitzsimmons began her service as a Rocky River Municipal Court Judge in 1994, where she is the Presiding and Administrative Judge. She has been a leader in the judicial system’s response to the opioid crisis, domestic violence, and stalking. She has taken the Court to middle and high schools to help young people see — and understand — the dangers of substance abuse.
Among the many public officials in attendance were Rocky River Mayor Pam Bobst, Bay Village Mayor Paul Koomar, and County Councilwoman Nan Baker. Numerous representatives of organized labor attended including officials from the Electricians Union IBEW Local 38, Sheet Metal Workers Local 33, Boilermakers Local 744, Laborers Local 310, and Teamsters Local 407. Former Bay Village Mayor Tom Jelepis served as Master of Ceremonies.
Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Congeni Fitzsimmons served as an Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor under Mr. John T. Corrigan. She was the first woman appointed as Special Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime Strike Force in Cleveland. Her most notable case was as the lead prosecutor in a three-month trial in federal court which resulted in the conviction of the alleged Cleveland Mafia Boss and five of his subordinates in 1983. Based upon her work in that case, Judge Fitzsimmons was appointed Deputy Counsel to President Regan’s Commission on Organized Crime in Washington, D.C. She then entered private practice as a partner at a major Cleveland law firm, where she specialized in trial work.
She graduated from Fairview High School, where she was valedictorian of her class and is a Charter Member of the Hall of Fame. She graduated from Boston College and George Washington University Law Center in Washington, D.C. She now resides with her family in Rocky River.