Judge Jeffrey D. Johnson
Judge Johnson cr res


Judge Jeffrey D. Johnson
Courtroom: 12-B
Bailiff:  Lucretia Bolden
Phone:  (216) 664-4991
Fax: (216) 664-4949

On November 7, 2023, Jeffrey D. Johnson was elected to a full six year term on the Cleveland Municipal Court now occupying the seat previously held by now retired Judge Michael L. Nelson Sr.

Judge Johnson is a lifelong Clevelander, supporter of public schools and a graduate of Collinwood High. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications from Kent State University, a Master of Arts in Political Science and Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University and also studied briefly at Cornell University in the School of City Planning and Development.

He has worked successfully in both the public and private sectors as a strategic advisor in governmental and political organizations with a focus on economic development, housing, health care, education, reentry, voting rights and more.

“Unemployment, preventing gun violence, alleviating food deserts, reforming public safety and increasing neighborhood investment are all things I have been passionate about my entire life,” he said.

An active attorney for over three decades and 23 years in elected office, Judge Johnson previously served as magistrate and court administrator for the Cleveland Housing Court. He has worked in two levels of government, including all three branches of local government, and the Ohio State Legislature--nine years as an Ohio State Senator, and 14 years as a Cleveland City Councilman. Under former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell’s administration, he was appointed director of the Department of Community Relations.

As an Ohio State Senator, Judge Johnson sponsored and co-sponsored diverse legislation covering major issues including a law creating the Ohio Infant Health Commission, legislation on workplace discrimination, education reform, economic development, criminal justice reform and more. He led the successful fight to keep Central State University open in 1997 while serving as President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.

Judge Johnson was recognized for his work on state public policy issues including health care, labor relations, affirmative action, business and workforce development, economic development, criminal justice, and civil rights.  He co-sponsored the first Fair Housing law in the City of Cleveland and led the successful effort to establish Cleveland’s Sex Crime and Child Abuse Investigative Unit in the Cleveland Police Department.

Believing that income inequality continues to be a major problem in Cleveland, Judge Johnson was one of the leaders involved with the unsuccessful citywide effort to raise the minimum wage in Cleveland to $15 per hour via a local ballot initiative. He also sponsored legislation in 2017 to remove dangerous poison lead from Cleveland rental properties to protect children and was a key leader for a local ballot initiative for the lead removal from rental properties that was later passed as law by Cleveland City Council.

Judge Johnson is a member of the NAACP, the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and the Norman S. Minor Bar Association and has been recognized for his work in the Ohio Legislature, including as Ohio Legislator of the Year, and for his many achievements in local government.

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