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County Executive Armond Budish To Make Additional Appointments To Leadership Team

CLEVELAND - Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced today several new additions to his leadership team and executive office staff.

Nailah Byrd was named Clerk of Courts. Byrd is currently the Cuyahoga County Inspector General. She is a graduate of Columbia University and Brooklyn Law School and has extensive experience working with the courts and she has practiced in both criminal and civil contexts. She is a former Manhattan District Attorney, private sector corporate counsel, and Assistant U.S. Attorney where she prosecuted major felony cases in New York City.

Edward Kraus was named Director of Regional Collaboration and will work to build strategic partnerships within the county and beyond. Kraus currently serves as the City of Solon Vice Mayor and brings over 13 years of elected, legislative experience to the job. As an Attorney at McDonald Hopkins, Kraus has practiced Planning and Zoning law, Real Estate law, and Government Affairs. He is a former Supervising Attorney at the Cuyahoga County Mortgage Fraud Task Force, Co-Managing Attorney at the Ohio Attorney General’s Cleveland Office, Partner in the Law Firm of Javitch, Block, and Rathbone, and Assistant Prosecutor in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. Kraus is a graduate of Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and The Ohio State University.

“As we build a strong Cuyahoga County with sustained success for years to come, it is important that we continue to establish a highly skilled, diversified leadership team,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Budish. “Nailah Byrd is an extremely effective administrator who will serve the Clerk’s office well. And Eddy Kraus is a well-respected leader who knows how to build strategic partnerships and will continue to develop the Department of Regional Collaboration.”

Karlton Laster was named Special Assistant for Regional Collaboration. Laster is a former U.S. House of Representative Intern and Ohio Senate Page. He is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and has a Master in Public Policy from Northwestern University and a Bachelor in English from The Ohio State University.

Budish also announced the retention of Jeff Mowry as Chief Information Officer. Mowry was named Chief Information Officer in 2011 and since that time upgraded all county VOIP, PC, and call center infrastructure, received three National Association for County Information Officers Awards, and saved the county over $2 million in IT re-contracting. Mowry was formerly Chief Information Officer for Broward County government after a nearly 20 year career at Chrysler. In 2014, he was named Chief Information Officer of the Year for a Large Non-Profit by Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Dr. Thomas Gilson will also be retained as Medical Examiner. Dr. Gilson was named Medical Examiner in 2011. He is the former Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Connecticut and Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Rhode Island. Dr. Gilson has practiced in the death investigation field since completion of his pathology residency at the University of Cincinnati in 1994. Under Dr. Gilson’s leadership, the Medical Examiner’s Office has reduced the office budget by nearly $3 million, dramatically improved case completion time, and opened a state-of-the-art Regional Forensic Science Laboratory.