Aurora -- Former Parma mayor Dean DePiero will become Aurora's law director, succeeding Alan Shorr, following an announcement by incoming mayor Ann Womer Benjamin. Shorr will continue in his current role through Dec. 31.
"I have a great deal of respect for [Womer Benjamin]," DePiero said. "I've known her a long time. We had a good working relationship when we were in the state Legislature together. I'm glad to be able to work with her and in such a great community."
DePiero served with Womer Benjamin for five years in Ohio House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003. He went on to serve as Parma mayor for eight years from 2004 to 2012.
Womer Benjamin said DePiero was "a tremendous colleague and friend in the Ohio House. He was willing to tackle important issues in a practical and thoughtful fashion.
"When I chaired the House Criminal Justice Committee and Dean served as the minority's ranking member, he was always interested in pursuing the best policies for his constituents and understood well the concept of teamwork," she said. "I am very pleased he will be part of my team in Aurora."
DePiero said he kept in touch with Womer Benjamin but had no idea he was under consideration for the job.
"I wanted to help her in her transition [to mayor] in any way I could," he said. "My experience matches up well, and I feel I can do some good things for the community. My job will be to represent city's interests as best I can and to make sure the elected officials meet their goals."
DePiero is an attorney for the Cleveland-based firm of McDonald Hopkins and is assistant law director and prosecutor in Broadview Heights. In the mid-1990s, he served as Berea assistant law director and prosecutor.
No salary has been determined yet for DePiero. Shorr received $130,645 this year.
Womer Benjamin also said she will replace Planning-Zoning-Building Director Rich Wehrenberg after a search is undertaken.
Shorr, who has served as Aurora law director for 12 years, was appointed by former Mayor Lynn McGill.
"I've enjoyed being the law director very much," Shorr said. "I enjoyed working with City Council for the most part and with all the city directors. It's been a good 12 years."
Prior to that, Shorr served for 13 years on the city's board of zoning appeals, the last 10 years as chairman. He has been a partner in the law firm of Christley, Herington and Pierce for more than 20 years. His final Council meeting will be Dec. 16.
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