Judge Edward J. Elum has served the Massillon Municipal Court District for 24 years. Eddie was first elected as Judge in November, 1995 and subsequently re-elected in 2001, 2007 & 2013. In November, 2019, Eddie was re-elected to his fifth term in office. In all of his elections, the Judiciary Committee of the Stark County Bar Association rated Judge Elum “Highly Recommended.” Judge Elum is a lifelong resident of Massillon, Ohio.
As Judge of the Massillon Municipal Court, Judge Elum has coordinated an aggressive Community Work Service Program that orders defendants to perform work for local non-profit community, civic and church organizations. This program has generated over 3 Million Dollars of labor hours. Elum along with the Court’s Road Crew supervisor works with the crew on Saturdays on special projects.
Judge Elum has also instituted procedures that will protect the Victims of Crime. Judge Elum orders the defendants to repay their victims for the damages and losses they suffered as a result of the crime pursuant to Ohio law governing Restitution in criminal and traffic matters. Since 2003, the restitution ordered by the Court to the crime victims exceeded $1.5 million. Elum has presided over 95,000 cases & administratively handled over 200,000 cases; and, enforces strict collection procedures for payment of court fines and costs.
Under Elum’s leadership and direction, The Massillon Municipal Court has become a model Court for court security, docket computerization and management, accessibility for those with special needs and handicaps, Theft, Alcohol and Drug Diversion programs, access to justice with convenient ability to be represented by counsel through the Stark County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service and the Stark County Public Defenders office.
Through the annual Bar Association’s Municipal Court Seminars, Elum has collaborated with the two other Stark County Municipal Courts to share treatment program initiatives and continue the funding of the Stark County Jail’s Alcohol & Drug (“AoD”) Program and Wilson Hall, a Residential AoD Program. The Jail AoD Program has been a statewide model for Members of the Buckeye Sheriffs Association.
Elum and the court have instituted a Veterans Assistance and Treatment program in conjunction with the Stark County Veterans Service Commission with an assigned VSC service officer with an office next to the Court building. Further, Elum developed a successful License Recovery Program and designated court docket sessions to assist individuals with BMV compliance so they can obtain a valid drivers license with insurance. The Massillon Court developed the County’s first Theft, Alcohol and Drug Diversion Program that Elum shared with Canton and Alliance Municipal Courts.
Judge Elum, with his staff, took a leadership role with The Ohio Attorney General’s Office and fully participated in the highly successful “Safe Surrender Program” in Stark County in September 2015.
The Massillon Court, under Elum’s volunteer efforts and using community service workers, converted an old unused building into lawyer offices, classrooms, conference room, and the Supreme Court mandated “Continuity of Operations Center” (COOP) for court operations. The Massillon Court was the first court in county that had a designated COOP center. Elum has made this COOP center available for first responders training, Disaster Recovery Services, and the emergency first aid in the event of a natural disaster. The front offices are made available to lawyers, public defenders, treatment agencies, adult probation and parole officers so defendants have easy access to be represented and complete their AoD and TASC case management plans as ordered by the court’s probation department. Elum was the general supervisor in the design, implementation and construction of the court’s technology improvements that modernized the three (3) courtrooms. Under Elum’s direction, the court recycles approximately 99% of its waste, paper, cardboard, glass and plastic products. He has assisted the City of Massillon and its departments in the implementation of two building wide recycling programs that continue to be successful and reduces waste to local landfills. All used HP printer cartridges are donated to local schools that receive monetary credits to fund and improve the school’s computer and technology classrooms.
Judge Elum has received numerous awards and recognition from charitable, religious, educational, civic and veteran’s organizations for his leadership, community service, humanitarian and judicial activities:
- On Veterans Day, 2016, Congressman Jim Renacci, 16th District Ohio, awarded Eddie a “Certificate of Special Recognition” for his service to the City’s Blue Star Mothers, Gold Star Families, and Veterans & Service members of our Armed Forces.
- The Canton Garden Center presented Eddie on September 13, 2016, with its “Award of Excellence” for his beautification and maintenance of Massillon’s Veterans Memorial Park.
- American Legion Post 221, Legion Riders awarded Eddie on June 4, 2016 at the Legions’ Annual Dinner a “Special Recognition Plaque” for his sincere appreciation for & outstanding patriotic service to the community and our Veterans.
- Salvation Army of Massillon on April 9, 2016 at the Army’s event to raise funds for its Homeless Housing Specialist Program awarded Eddie its Homeless Hero Award for his tireless advocacy for the homeless and working poor; and, his focus on keeping people in their homes in warm beds with food security.
- City of Massillon in 2015 awarded Judge Elum the City’s Community Service Award for his volunteer efforts in landscaping, renovating and improving Veterans Memorial Park & Duncan Plaza-the Courthouse’s front door. This was accomplished on Elum’s personal time with the assistance of the Rotary Club of Massillon and the Court’s Road Crew.
- Massillon Rotary Club named Eddie its 2014-2015 Rotarian of the Year for upholding and furthering the principles and ideals of the Rotary way of life “Service Above Self” and his humanitarian efforts that assist those in need.
- Walsh University awarded Judge Elum with the University’s Distinguished Service Medal at its winter, 2013 Commencement; and, the University’s Board of Directors named Eddie as its Commencement Speaker.
- Massillon Area Chamber of Commerce presented Judge Elum with its S. “Sandy” Sanders Award of Merit (2013) in recognition for outstanding service and distinguished leadership in the Massillon Community for 2012.
- Downtown Massillon Association presented Judge Elum with its Outstanding Efforts Award (2013) in recognition of his on-going volunteer efforts and continued support for the future of downtown Massillon. Elum along with Terry Roan and Marie Wilson post over 45 US Flags throughout the downtown area on designated light poles at 6am on six National holidays & Veteran Recognition days.
- Massillon Baptist Temple presented Judge Elum with the Church’s Distinguished Service Award (2011) in recognition of exceptional leadership and devoted service to the citizens of Massillon.
- Boys and Girls Club of Massillon recognized and awarded Judge Elum and the Court, the Club’s Helping Hand Award (2009) for the Judge’s public service in directing the Court’s community work service program to benefit the Club in performing a variety of maintenance, repairs, soup kitchen support and funding for the Club’s endowment fund.
- Massillon Rotary Club awarded Eddie the 2007 Paul L. David Humanitarian Award. The Paul L. David Award honors an individual or business that has made an impact on western Stark County and demonstrates the ideals of Rotary, and to recognize and memorialize Mr. David for his commitment and contributions to his community. The Paul L. David Award is to encourage philanthropy, humanitarianism and support for community improvement and charitable efforts to those who are less fortunate.
- Massillon Rotary Club and The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International named Eddie a Paul Harris Fellow (2017 & 2006) in appreciation of his tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of Rotary’s humanitarian relations among people of the world and his community, including Rotary’s efforts to eradicate the polio virus;
- Shiloh Baptist Church of Massillon honored Eddie in 2008 for his generosity and continuous support to the Church’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Breakfast;
- VFW Post 3124, Massillon honored Eddie on five occasions with its Appreciation Award (2007, 2009, 2015 & 2016) for meritorious and distinguished service in furthering the Aims and Ideals of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States; and, assisting the Blue Star Mothers, and Gold Star Families in erecting two monument markers in their honor, located in Veterans Memorial Park. In 2017, Eddie was recognized with a Patriotic Excellence Award;
- Massillon Lions Club awarded Eddie its Community Service and Leadership Award (2006) for his efforts in assisting the Club with the Lions Lincoln Theatre, a historical movie theatre in downtown Massillon.
- Quest Recovery Services twice honored Eddie with its Joy Timken Community Services Award (2002 & 2008) for his consistent support of alcohol and drug treatment alternatives;
- Boys and Girls Club of Massillon bestowed on Eddie the Club’s Man and Youth Award (1999) for his outstanding service to the youth of the community;
- Grace Community Church bestowed the Church’s Servant of the People Award (1998) to Judge Elum;
- Faith Community Fellowship Church honored Eddie with the Church’s Community Service Award (2004);
- Community Services of Stark County recognized Eddie with its Community Service Award (2002) for his humanitarian efforts and support of The Family Living Center;
- Habitat for Humanity of Massillon recognized Eddie with its Community Service Award (2004) for his efforts in assisting with the building of Habitat homes;
- Military Order of The Purple Heart USA, awarded Eddie its Citation (2000) for exceptionally meritorious service to our veterans in our community:
- Civil Liberties League of Massillon bestowed its Civil Liberties Award (1996) to Eddie for his strong support and defender of an individual’s civil rights;
- Lebanese American Association of Stark County recognized Eddie with its Outstanding Service & Distinguished Leadership in Stark County Award (November 2013) and its Leadership & Commitment Award (January 1998); and,
- Eddie & Margaret are the original Plaque Sponsors for the Massillon Academic Booster Club’s “Most Improved Student” Award given annually to six students attending Massillon’s elementary and middle schools. Since 1996, each school has the name of the student who received the Award affixed to the school’s Plaque that is prominently displayed in the school.
Eddie is a founding member of the Western Stark County Homeless Task Force, a collaborative effort formed in 2006 by the Court, governmental agencies, local churches and clergy together with social service agencies to eradicate homelessness, tackle poverty issues, and food insecurity in Stark County. Elum together with The Massillon Salvation Army and other housing agencies have established a Landlord/Tenant Mediation Program to assist landlords, tenants and their attorneys with housing issues and rental assistance. In 1992, Eddie was a co-founder of the Family Living Center, a residential housing program to assist homeless families with children obtain permanent housing; attain self-sufficiency skills and employment opportunities. In 2011, City Bible Church and the Akron Canton Connection recognized Eddie’s efforts and dedication in assisting the relocation of the Family Living Center to a larger facility with additional resources to support the community’s homeless families.
Judge Elum is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Massillon Community Hospital and Doctors Hospital (“Affinity Medical Center”) and was instrumental, during the merger of these hospitals, in obtaining substantial benefits for the Family Living Center, a homeless shelter located on the campus of Massillon Community Hospital and medical services for the West Stark Medical Clinic, a medical clinic for the uninsured and underinsured located adjacent to the hospital.
Prior to becoming Judge, Eddie was an Assistant Attorney General and General Counsel for Higher Education in the Ohio Attorney Generals Office (1983-92), a Massillon City Prosecutor (1978-81), and a lawyer with the local law firm of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffith and Dougherty. Eddie has extensive experience in Education Law, Charitable Trusts and Community Foundations.
He assisted in the creation of The Massillon Area Civic Trust Fund in 1981, which is a component trust fund of The Stark Community Foundation; and was an original trustee and lawyer for the AHEAD (Affordable Housing Educational Advancement Developers Foundation). As a dedicated advocate of Ohio’s two-year colleges, Elum was awarded the Public Sector Award in 1993 by Jefferson Community College of Steubenville, Ohio.
Eddie is a cast member of Stark County’s Courthouse Players, a community theatre group of local lawyers and judges, who have produced and performed for nine years law related educational community theatre in celebration of Law Day at various theatre venues in NE Ohio, The Federal Court of Claims in Washington DC & at The Ohio Historical Theatre in Columbus, Ohio. The 2015 – 2018 scheduled productions were at 13 theater venues with over 25 productions. All productions are performed, with a legal education principle and theme (“Twelve Angry Men” and “Andersonville Trial”) to inform the public, students, and attendees of the principles of Law Day and the rule of law.
Elum is presently serving on the Executive Committee of the Stark County Community Corrections Planning Board; he is a Massillon Tiger Sideliner and is on the Advisory Board for Habitat for Humanity of Massillon under the governance of the Habitat for Humanity of Stark and Carroll Counties. Eddie is a 32 year volunteer for the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph Church that serves hot lunches and distributes groceries every Monday to individuals and families. Elum installed, at his own expense, a computer aided registration, through the internet, to increase the efficiency of serving those in need and allowing the food pantry to track and order its food supplies online.
Elum has served as a member of The Stark County Bar Association Executive Committee, The Board of Trustees of The Massillon Museum, Stark State College of Technology, Stark Development Board, Walsh University Advisory Board, Massillon Main Street, Spring Hill Historic Home, Treasurer of the Central Catholic Booster Club, and committee member of the Ohio High School All Star Football game.
Elum is a graduate of The University of Notre Dame. He received his law degree from The Ohio Northern University, where he received The Liberty Bell Award for his dedicated service to his community and law school classmates. He attended The Ohio State University and received a Management in Government Certificate.
Eddie and his wife, Margaret have two adult children, Jeannette & Paul. The Elum Family are members of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Massillon and sponsor three children in foreign countries.
Judge Elum is a former United States Naval Officer.
CIVIC, COMMUNITY AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:
Eddie was a 20 year member of Rotary Club of Massillon, Spring Hill Historic Home (Trustee), Boys & Girls Club of Massillon Corporate Board, Knights of Columbus Council 554, American Legion Post 221 (Honor & Color Guard), La Societe Des 40 Hommes Et 8 Chevaux Voiture 10, Veterans of Foreign Wars-VFW Post 3124, Ohio Society of Military History (Trustee), Eagles Aerie 190, The Ohio State and Stark County Bar Associations (Law Day Committee, Military Committee, Municipal Court & Technology Committee), The Association of Municipal and County Judges of Ohio, Stark County Township Association, Stark County Firefighters Association, Massillon. Eddie was a youth basketball coach at the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club of Massillon.