Wilkowski joins energy law firm

Toledo, Ohio. Keith Wilkowski, a leading local government lawyer and most recently Toledo mayoral candidate, has joined the law firm of Marshall & Melhorn, LLC, as a Member. Mr. Wilkowski will chair the firm’s newly established Advanced Energy and Green Initiatives Practice Group. The announcement was made by Thomas P. Killam, a Managing Member and Chair of the firm’s Business Department.

“We’re pleased Keith will be adding his considerable experience as a former city law director and public law practitioner to the firm,” Mr. Killam said. “We are particularly excited about Keith’s leadership in the area of alternative and advanced energy and green building projects.”

Mr. Wilkowski served as Toledo’s law director (1990 to 1994) as well as law director for Rossford (1997 to 2005) and solicitor for the Village of Waterville (2001 to 2005).

He helped to establish Toledo’s Joint Economic Development Zones with the cities of Maumee and Rossford and with Monclova Township. Today, those JEDZ agreements return an estimated $1 million annually in tax revenue to Toledo. In 2003, Mr. Wilkowski successfully defended Toledo in several lawsuits challenging Toledo’s Clean Indoor Air Act, a forerunner to the state law prohibiting indoor smoking.

Marshall & Melhorn’s Advanced Energy and Green Initiatives Practice Group will help businesses, nonprofits, individuals and government agencies take advantage of opportunities in the new-energy economy.

“Northwest Ohio is the center of innovation for alternative and advanced energy. I’m pleased to join the experienced lawyers at Marshall & Melhorn as we assist the region’s fast-growing solar, wind, and bio-fuels industries,” Mr. Wilkowski said. In addition, his practice will include economic development projects, land use and litigation.

Mr. Wilkowski graduated magna cum laude and was second in his class at The University of Toledo College of Law in 1982. He began practicing law with his father, the late Arthur Wilkowski, one-time Ohio legislative leader and Sixth District Court of Appeals judge.

Keith Wilkowski launched his political career in 1983, when he was elected to the Toledo Board of Education. He was re-elected to the school board in 1987. The next year, he was elected to the Board of Lucas County Commissioners.

In 1990, Mr. Wilkowski was appointed Toledo’s law director, a position from which he helped the City forge cutting-edge economic development agreements. In the waning days of 1993, he served as Toledo’s acting city manager prior to the change to a strong mayor form of government, effective January 1, 1994, thus serving as the City’s last city manager.

He was elected chair of the Lucas County Democratic Party in 1994, serving until 1997. Mr. Wilkowski also ran for mayor of Toledo in 2005, finishing third in the primary election. In 2009, Mr. Wilkowski led the five person field of primary candidates and became the endorsed Democratic candidate for mayor. In the November General Election, he finished second with 47.5 percent of the vote. Mr. Wilkowski made the region’s solar and other advanced energy industries the centerpiece of his economic development platform.

Keith and his wife, the former Barbara Martel, have been married since 1979. They have four children and two grandchildren.

About Marshall & Melhorn

Founded in 1895, Marshall & Melhorn is one of the oldest law firms in Northwest Ohio. A full-service law firm, Marshall & Melhorn’s practice areas include business, estate planning, healthcare, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, medical malpractice defense and tax. The firm maintains offices in downtown Toledo and Monroe, Michigan. Lawyers at Marshall & Melhorn were “present at the creation” of the region’s new economy, representing researchers, start-up businesses, serving on economic development agencies and aggressively promoting and assisting these key industries. From concept through the growth cycle, to maturity and divestiture, the firm’s lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help its clients succeed in the new energy economy.

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