Eliason is the first female to hold an elected legal position in Athens County. She previously worked as a prosecutor in Athens for 25 years.
According to the City of Athens’ website, Eliason will be “responsible for providing legal support and advice to city officials, as well as city boards and commissions.” In addition, Eliason will represent the city in civil matters and is responsible for overseeing the three appointed prosecutors.
A 1976 graduate from Ohio University, Eliason taught special education for eight years, including one year in Athens County, before enrolling in law school at the University of Dayton.
“When I graduated from UD law school, I had a two-year old, and I had a nine-year old,” Eliason said. “So after I took the bar exam, we did what every family should do after the mom takes the bar exam: we went to Disneyworld.”
Eliason became the temporary law director last February when the man who previously held the role, Pat Lang, stepped up to become a judge on the Athens County Common Pleas Court.
The law director position is up for election every four years, but there is rarely an opposition candidate due to the necessity of the office-holder to have thorough municipal law experience.
Eliason clerked on the Court of Appeals after moving to Athens in 1989. Then, in 1990, under Law Director Gary Hunter, Eliason was hired as a prosecutor.
Unlike her previous role, being the law director was only part-time; the position technically requires only 30 hours per week.
Calling out to a colleague, she asked, “Hey, have I been working 30 hours per week?”
In response, the woman laughed.
“I can’t seem to narrow it down yet,” Eliason said.
Outside of law, Eliason enjoys the outdoors and was the editor of a historical book released in 2005 titled “Athens County: The Second Century, 1905-2005.”
“I walk six to eight miles a day,” Eliason said. “I do fifteen thousand steps a day! I think I’m pretty spry for a 61-year-old.”