Retiring court justice to head Ohio Judicial Conference

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s judicial advocacy group has appointed a retiring state Supreme Court justice as its next executive director.

Paul Pfeifer (PEYE’-fuhr) will lead the Ohio Judicial Conference beginning in January as he leaves the court under rules prohibiting justices older than 70 from running for a seat.

The 74-year-old Pfeifer succeeds Mark Schweikert, who retired earlier this year after holding the position since 2006.

Pfeifer, a Republican, has served on the Supreme Court since 1993, with previous stints in the House and Senate.

As a state senator Pfeifer was one of the architects of the state’s current death penalty law but has since come to oppose capital punishment.

The judicial conference represents more than 700 judges and works to establish judicial policy and express the consensus of judges on issues.