There is a new face on the bench in Muskingum County court.
Zanesville attorney Scott Rankin has been appointed to a seat left vacant by Judge Eric Martin who moved to common pleas court.
Rankin said you won’t see a dramatic change on the bench since he’s a proponent of some of the things Martin initiated.
"I’m a strong proponent of the hope court program that was started by Judge Eric Martin," Rankin said. "I would look to expand that program to get more people with substance abuse issues into that hope court program."
The hope court program is a private court that helps people with history of substance abuse or mental illness avoid jail time by helping to rehab them. If people in the program continue to make steady progress they can graduate from the program in as little as two years. Rankin is a supporter of this because he believes in helping people.
"I have been able to demonstrate that I can be both compassionate to people but also stern and recognize when I need to protect the public through encarceration," Rankin said. "My first goal would be to help people that really deserve the help, but you’ve got to protect the public and hold people acountable for their actions."
Rankin has been a lawyer for the past 15 years. He will need to be elected in November to remain on the bench, in what could be a busy ballot for the position. Rankin will be sworn into office on Thursday.