Portrait Dedication Honors Former Chief Justice Celebrezze
Family members, friends and Justices of the Supreme Court of Ohio attended a portrait dedication ceremony today in the courtroom in honor of former Chief Justice Frank D. Celebrezze, who died March 21, 2010.
Eight of Chief Justice Celebrezze's 14 years on the Supreme Court bench were spent as Chief Justice, from Dec. 11, 1978, to Dec. 31, 1986.
Born in 1928, Chief Justice Celebrezze's public service career did not begin with his time on the bench in Columbus.
He was elected twice to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. He also served in the Ohio Senate and as special counsel by appointment of the Attorney General. He earned his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University in 1956 and was admitted to the Ohio bar later that year.
The Justices accepted the portrait during an open session of the Supreme Court. Justice Paul E. Pfeifer, who offered brief introductory remarks, said that Chief Justice Celebrezze's most significant accomplishment was the establishment of the Clients' Security Fund of Ohio in 1985. The fund provides financial reimbursement to Ohioans who lose money or property as a result of the dishonest conduct of an attorney.
Justice Pfeifer noted history also will remember Chief Justice Celebrezze because he served on the Court with his brother James for nearly two years in the early 1980s, the only time in the annals of the Supreme Court that this has occurred.
Chief Justice Celebrezze's widow, Mary Ann, attended and was recognized during the ceremony. Three of their children participated in the ceremony with Jeffrey Celebrezze offering remarks and Laura Haylett and Rebecca Selover presenting the portrait to the Supreme Court.
In addition, son-in-law Edward Selover and lawyers and friends Don Iler and Matthew Fitzsimmons also offered remarks. Fitzsimmons served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Celebrezze from 1980 to 1982.
The portrait, painted by Rocky River artist Ellie Colton, will hang in the Law Library on the 11th floor in the Ohio Judicial Center, which serves as the home of the Supreme Court.