Last day for Painesville judge known for his creative sentences

PAINESVILLE, Ohio-- It's the last day on the bench for Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti.

For more than two decades, he's given lawbreakers the option of alternative sentences to avoid jail time while trying to teach a life lesson.

"Look, you did something stupid and you're going to pay for it by doing something stupid and hopefully it clicks," Cicconetti told FOX 8.

Here's a look back at some of his creative sentences from recent years:

Drinking and driving

In 2013, Cicconetti sentenced a man for a drunken driving crash. The driver was given the choice: spend five days in jail or go to jail for three days, plus visit a coroner's office twice to see dead bodies.

"I'm not doing this for the publicity. I'm doing this to get through to people. These actions have to stop. Whatever the crime may be, theft, driving around a school bus or OVI, this needs to stop. If we can help someone out there change their behavior and stop one or two cases, that's the idea," the judge said.


Three Perry teens were caught on camera, knocking on neighbors' doors and hiding. For their criminal mischief charge, they had to be part of the "Green Man Group" at Painesville's Party-in-the-Park. The experience was similar to their offense, since they had to “bang” on drums while “hiding” in their costumes.

Pepper spray punishment

A Painesville woman who assaulted another person with pepper spray got a taste of her own medicine. Cicconetti had the victim spray her with a non-harmful, water-based substance. It was recorded on video.


A student, who was caught on surveillance video stealing a life ring from the Lake Metroparks, had to spend four days handing out fliers on what to do if you see someone drowning. He also had to give out Lifesavers candy.

"Act like an animal"

A Painesville man tipped over a port-potty, knocked down a WiFi bridge and threw two lifesaving rings into the lake. Cicconetti said since the suspect acted like an animal, he would take care of animals. He was sentenced to shovel poop from the 4-H pens at the Lake County Fair.

Lawn lesson

Last year, a 19-year-old mowed obscenities in the back lawn at Fairport Harding High School. He apologized and admitted it was childish. To avoid time in jail, he opted to mow the schools practice fields with a manual mower.

Painstaking painting

In one of his final creative sentences, Cicconetti dealt with a young man who spray painted a railroad caboose. To make up, he had to paint the railings of the courthouse with a toothbrush.

"It may take you a while, but that's the lesson to be learned," Cicconetti said.

More stories on Judge Cicconetti here

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