Posted by Rick Taylor on Oct 05, 2018

TOPIC: Issue 1 - would amend the Ohio Constitution — to reclassify low-level felonies for drug use and drug possession to misdemeanors. It would make mandatory the shifting of those incarcerated under such drug offenses from prison into treatment programs.


*Friday's program will feature Will Cooley and Fred Scott who will discuss the pros and cons of Issue 1.



Will Cooley is a historian of the 20th century United States.  His scholarly work examines race, labor relations, and social mobility.  He has published in the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of Sport and Social IssuesLabor History, and has also written entries for American Sports: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas and Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia.  He has forthcoming articles in The Oxford Handbook on Immigration and Ethnicity and in an edited collection on African-American entrepreneurship in Chicago.  His current book project details racial discrimination and the making of the modern American middle class.

Cooley is also active in criminal justice reform efforts.  His articles have appeared in the Canton Repository and the Catholic Exponent.  In 2012, the Stark County Bar Association awarded him the Liberty Bell Award, which is presented annually to a citizen who has rendered outstanding service to the community. 

Cooley teaches a range of courses, including American Catholic History, 20th Century United States, African American History, Sport History, and the Industrial Revolution in the World. At Walsh University he has received the 2017-2018 Joseph Ezzie Outstanding Educator of the Year Award as well as the 2016 Faculty Service Award. 

Cooley lives in North Canton with his wife, Melissa Kath, and daughter, Ella.  


Fred Scott is the Chief Criminal Prosecutor for Stark County, having been appointed to that position by Stark County Prosecutor John D. Ferrero in January 2018.  A Stark County native, Scott joined the prosecutor's office in a part-time capacity in March 1997 and then full time in January, 2000.  He worked initially in the appellate division, and defended over three hundred guilty jury verdicts before the Fifth District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court.   Before the Ohio Supreme Court, Scott successfully defended the constitutionality of Ohio's 1996 truth in sentencing law and the constitutionality of Ohio's sex offender registry statute (Megan's law).
Scott began working as a felony trial attorney in March 2003.  He has served as a courtroom attorney for seven different common pleas court judges and has prosecuted all levels of felonies, from F5 drug possession to Aggravated Murder.  He served on Judge Taryn Heath's committee to form the Stark County Honor Court (a treatment court for veterans) and was prosecutor's representative to the court from its formation in May, 2011 until May, 2018.
In July 2015, Prosecutor Ferrero named Scott the Assistant Chief Criminal Prosecutor to replace Chryssa Hartnett after she was elected as a Judge for the Stark County Common Pleas Court.  His duties having included supervising the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence units, implementing Ohio's Good Samaritan Law for opiate and other drug overdoses, and office management.  He also continued to prosecute major felony and homicide cases.
As Chief Criminal Prosecutor, Scott is responsible for the operation of the county's criminal division which includes trial, appellate, and grand jury sections.   He supervises fifteen other trial and appellate attorneys, as well as nine administrative assistants and paralegal secretaries.  And he continues to prosecute major felony and homicide cases.
Before joining the prosecutor's office, Scott worked as a law clerk for Judge Clair Dickinson and the late Judge Mary Cacioppo at the Ninth District Court of Appeals in Summit County (1992 - 1994) and spent six years in private practice (1994-2000).  He received both his law (1992) and undergraduate (1989) degrees from the University of Notre Dame.