Judge Lisa A. Locke Graves has served on the bench of the Elyria Municipal Court since January 2, 2004. During this time, she has brought many changes to the court including being instrumental in the planning, design and building of a new municipal courthouse, at no cost to taxpayers. The new building offers users of the court and court staff a clean, secure and efficient facility in which to conduct business. Judge Locke Graves also spearheaded the campaign to name the new courthouse in honor of former Judge John A. Howard.
Her role in implementing the Defensive Driver Diversion Program at the court allows drivers cited for minor traffic infractions to complete a course in driver safety in exchange for dismissal of their citation. This program benefits the whole community by turning out drivers focused on safety.
Judge Locke Graves created a community service work force for "Lorain County Pride Day." Non-violent offenders work the third Saturday in May cleaning up the city of Elyria and its parks' system by picking up litter, painting and planting flowers in exchange for no jail time. She also supports a diversion program for first-time offenders possessing marijuana or consuming alcohol while underage. Completion of this program sets offenders on a substance abuse-free path while giving them a clean record which allows them to apply for jobs and military service without the hindrance of a conviction.
Sheriff Phil Stammitti's Litter Control Program is supported by sentencing non-violent offenders to clean-up duty on county roads, in lieu of jail time in overcrowded facilities. In addition to the diversion programs listed above, Judge Locke Graves also provides offenders the opportunity to avoid a jail sentence by performing community service for the city of Elyria and the city of North Ridgeville street departments. This helps the cities by providing extra labor during peak periods, such as leaf pick-up, snow removal and the Elyria Apple Festival.
Prior to being elected in 2003, Judge Locke Graves practiced law as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Lorain County. She handled cases in every division of the Lorain County Prosecutor's Office for fifteen years, including adult-felony level cases, juvenile delinquency cases, representation of various Lorain County agencies and departments in civil matters and five years as Chief Counsel of the Domestic Relations Division.
Judge Locke Graves is a lifelong resident of Elyria. She attended Elyria City Schools, graduating from Elyria High School in 1977, and attended Lorain County Community College. She graduated from Ohio University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and graduated from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1990 with a Juris Doctorate degree.