SAWICKI, JOSEPH F. (18 Mar. 1881-30 Oct. 1969), lawyer, politician, and judge, was born in Gorzno, Poland to Peter and Bogumila Jurkowska Sawicki, immigrated with his family to Cleveland when he was 5, and worked his way through St. Ignatius College (see JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY), BALDWIN-WALLACE, Western Reserve University Law School (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY), and Cleveland Law School (see CLEVELAND-MARSHALL LAW SCHOOL), receiving the LL.B. degree, being admitted to the Ohio bar, and beginning to practice law in 1904.
Sawicki served in the Ohio legislature from 1905-08 and 1911-12. He was appointed judge of the municipal court on 1 Jan. 1919 and won his first election to the post that November. In 1932, Sawicki was forced into involuntary bankruptcy, with over $200,000 debt from real-estate investments and campaign expenses. When court records made public the numerous loans made to Sawicki from practicing lawyers, the executive committee of the CLEVELAND BAR ASSOC. demanded his resignation, so Sawicki retired from the bench in 1933 and returned to private practice. In 1953, Sawicki served as a member of the Cleveland Charter Commission, and in 1959 was appointed special counsel for the Ohio attorney general.
Active in the Polish-American community, Sawicki was honored by the Cleveland Society of Poles as "Good Joe of 1967" for his work in numerous Polish relief groups and the Polish-American Chamber of Commerce. An avid coin collector, he was president of the Western Reserve Numismatic Assoc. Sawicki married Elizabeth Veronica Sadowska in 1908 and had 2 daughters, Mrs. Edward Gilbert and Mrs. Jas. Wager, and 2 sons, Eugene and Edwin.