TROY — When Judge Jeffrey Welbaum retired early from the bench in August, he said he would be looking for a new adventure.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine obliged Thursday, naming Welbaum as criminal justice section chief in his office.
In the making the announcement from the historic Miami County Courthouse, DeWine said he was continuing with a promise he’d made at his swearing-in last week to seek justice, seek truth and protect Ohio families.
“Jeff Welbaum has really spent his entire career doing that,” DeWine said.
Welbaum, 58, has served as an assistant county prosecutor, an assistant public defender, county prosecutor and for the past 17 years one of the county’s two Common Pleas Court judges.
As criminal justice section chief, he will oversee 35 to 50 lawyers working in the areas of special prosecutions, consumer fraud, capital crimes and corrections litigation.
“This is a very big responsibility ... This is a very big job,” DeWine said.
Welbaum will work with Steve Schumaker, former Clark County prosecutor, who was named deputy attorney general for law enforcement in December.
The criminal justice section is one of six major sections in the office.
The others are the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, Organized Crime Investigations Commission, Crime Victims and Health Care Fraud.
“This is a big day for me and a big day for Miami County to have representation in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office,” Welbaum told a throng of well-wishers that included the three county commissioners and Municipal Court judges who preside in the courthouse.
Welbaum, joined at the podium by his wife, Peg, called the job “an exciting opportunity.”