Judge Thomas Kohl was appointed to the bench in Washington County, Oregon by Gov. John Kitzhaber in April of 1997. Since then he has been elected three times and currently presides over criminal trials. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky (BA) and the University of Toledo (JD).
He headed the birth of the Washington County Adult Drug Court in 2005 and has been the only judge since then. The Washington County Drug Court has received state-wide and national recognition. As of December of 2014, the drug court has had 164 graduates, saving the state over 9 million dollars in incarceration costs. Judge Thomas Kohl was also the Presiding Judge in Washington County from 2006 through 2010.
He was President of the Oregon State Circuit Court Judges’ Association from 2010-11.
In 2006, Judge Kohl’s daughter, Megan, was brutally murdered. The killer was tried and convicted of aggravated murder several years later. Judge Kohl is a Christian and was able to forgive Megan’s murderer only through the power and presence of Jesus Christ in his life. Judge Kohl wrote and published a book, “Losing Megan; Finding Hope, Comfort and Forgiveness in the Midst of Murder” in 2012.
The book opened doors to churches and special events for Judge Kohl to talk about how God can take a tragedy and turn it into a triumph. Recently the book has opened the doors of prisons for Judge Kohl to share his powerful story with inmates. He has spoken in prisons around the country including Oregon, Washington, Georgia and Louisiana (Angola Prison) and has recently returned from speaking in prisons in Rwanda and Indonesia. Judge Kohl lives in Hillsboro with his wife, Julie.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
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