|Professor John Plecnik's scholarship focuses on the intersection of taxation and public policy. Internationally recognized for his work, Professor Plecnik won the prestigious Bilateral Grant twice from the Public Research Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, and his research has been cited as authority by the Congressional Research Service, United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, and Supreme Court of the United States.
Professor Plecnik currently teaches Tax I; Tax Procedure, Penalties & Crimes; Wealth Transfer Tax; and Estates & Trusts at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. Professor Plecnik has also taught courses at North Carolina Central University and Georgetown University. His students twice voted him "Professor of the Year" in 2012 and 2017. Professor Plecnik also received the Golden Apple Award from the Young Alumni Council of the Cleveland State University Alumni Association.
Following his graduation from law school, Professor Plecnik joined the Wall Street law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP as an ERISA attorney. He then served as a law clerk to Judge David Gustafson of the United States Tax Court and as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he taught Tax Penalties & Tax Crimes.
Professor Plecnik earned his B.A., summa cum laude, in Accounting with a minor in Mythology from Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated co-valedictorian. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Duke University School of Law. While at Duke, he was one of six inaugural executive board members to co-found the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy. He also served as an editor on Law & Contemporary Problems and received the Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in Taxation & Estate Planning. Professor Plecnik earned his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. While at NYU, he served as Executive Editor of the NYU Review of Law & Social Change and was the first part-time student to be selected as a member of that review. In addition, Professor Plecnik was awarded the Certificate in Business Excellence by Columbia University Graduate School of Business and is a graduate of the Ohio State University Public Leadership Academy.
In the past, Professor Plecnik served as Vice President of Council, Chair of Finance and Councilman-at-Large for the City of Willoughby Hills, where he personally negotiated and drafted the tax abatement that brought over 300 jobs and the single biggest employer in the last decade to Lake County. He also served as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Willoughby-Eastlake Public Libraries and Chairman of the Willoughby Hills Recreation Commission.
Professor Plecnik was sworn in as the 79th Commissioner of Lake County, Ohio on February 11, 2021. He is one of three Lake County Commissioners, who meet weekly in Painesville to set the budget and administrative policy for county government.