Makhlouf, was appointed in April 2011 to the newly-created post, in which he serves as the chief legal adviser to County Executive Edward FitzGerald and 11- member County council in the reorganized Cuyahoga County Goverment. In 2010 voters in Ohio’s most populace County, partially in response to a three year federal probe that uncovered wide-spread corruption, approved a new county charter that replaced the three traditional county commissioners and other elected officials with a county executive, and council. Cuyahoga was the only the second county in Ohio to scrap the traditional commissioner form of government for the new government structure.
Makhlouf’s appointment became a controversial issue when Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason challenged it, claiming that under Ohio Law, only the elected County Prosecutor County prosecutor could serve as the legal adviser and chief legal officer for the County. The Ohio Supreme Court however, ruled against Mason’s challenge and affirmed Makhlouf’s appointment.
After graduating from Hiram in 1998, Makhlouf attended law school at The Ohio State University, and joined the Cleveland office of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP where he focused his practice on public law as well as complex business and commercial litigation, real estate and land use litigation, federal and state government contracts litigation, and appellate litigation. Mr. Makhlouf appeared before trial and appellate courts throughout Ohio, and his trial, arbitration, and appellate experience extends outside of Ohio and includes representing his former clients in arbitrations and cases before federal and state courts around the country.
Following his address on “The Transformation and Rebirth and of Cuyahoga County through Good Government,” in the Kennedy Ballroom, Makhlouf will have lunch in the Dining Hall and meet informally with interested students, faculty and staff.