Quirk’s career draws praise

BOB QUIRK spent 27 years working in the Belmont County Prosecuting Attorney’s office. He retired this month and then talked about what he hopes to do in the years ahead.

“I know I won’t be sitting around doing nothing,” he said. “One good thing about retirement is that I can pick and choose what I want to do.”

Quirk said he loves the Belmont County area and its people.

“I have met a lot of wonderful people and some of them have become my very good friends. I wouldn’t go back to where I came from for anything,” he said. “The people of this entire area have been wonderful to me.”

He is a native of Willoughby, Ohio.

Whenver he walks down the street, people stop him and talk. They shake his hand and wish him well. He always takes time to chat with someone he meets along the way.

“We talk about sports, politics or whatever,” he said. “I enjoy talking to people and many times you may have a positive impact on someone’s life by just having a little conversation with them.”

Quirk’s last day of work was Aug. 13. He spent 27 years working in the prosecutor’s office and served under four prosecuting attorneys. He came in when Ed Sustersic was the prosecutor. Sustersic was succceeded by Bill Thomas and Frank Pierce took Thomas’ place. The current prosecutor is Chris Berhalter.

“They were all very professional and it was a privilege for me to serve with them,” Quirk said.

Berhalter had words of praise for Quirk. He said he was a dedicated employee. “Bob was a definite asset to our office and to Belmont County. We wish him well and we are going to miss him,” he said.

Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Solovan II also complimented Quirk. “Bob was dedicated and did his job with a lot of drive and aggressiveness. In addition, he had a jovial side which made him fun to be with. We are all going to miss that friendly attitude and enthusiasm.”

Quirk paid tribute to the employees in the prosecutor’s office and to the other assistant prosecuting attorneys. “They are all dedicated and hard working. I am going to miss them very much. I have a lot of happy memories,” he said.

Quirk reflected on some of the major cases the prosecutor’s office has handled over the past years. He mentioned the Palmer and Hill murder case, the death of Vicky Redmond and the double murder committed by Nathan Brooks, who was tried and found guilty of the killing of his mother and father while he was a juvenile.

“You see and feel the sadness of the familes in these these types of cases, as well as in others” Quirk said. “As prosecutors, we have the opportunity to talk to a lot of people. I just hope with all my heart that I have helped some of them and perhaps made a little difference in their lives.

“We interact with a lot of people involved in burglaries, thefts and domestic violence issues and many times it isn’t easy to deal with the victim or the accused. However, we always try to do what is right and hope for the best,” he said. “If we can turn one life around, then our efforts are a success.”

Quirk said now that he is retired he can have the time to pick and choose what he wants to do. He plans to go to Columbus soon for a one-day class to be certified as a Guardian ad Litem and serve with the Juvenile Court.

“I am hoping that perhaps one or more of the judges will use me as an acting judge in the county’s division courts,” he said. He also plans to work for the passsage of the Job & Family Services Levy on the November ballot. “This is something which will provide services for kids and for seniors,” Quirk said. “To me, that is very important.”

He also plans to be an instructor and give driving lessons to those wishing to learn to drive.

“I think I am going to have a very fulfilling retirement,” he said. “I know that I am going to be involved in a lot of activities, but as I said, I have the luxury to pick and choose what I want to do.”

Quirk attended high school in Willoughby, and obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester where he participated in football. He obtained his law degree from the University of Toledo in 1975.

In that same year, Quirk came to Martins Ferry and worked in the offices of Karl Sommer Jr, and John Frazier. In 1985, he went to St. Clairsville as a full-time prosecutor.

Quirk and his wife, Cathy, reside in St. Clairsville. She is a retired teacher from the Bellaire School District. They are the parents of two children – Lindsay, a special education teacher who resides in Dublin, Ohio, and Adam, who runs a speed/strength training facility in Lima.