John grew up in Springfield, Virginia. He attended West Springfield High School, graduated from Furman University, in Greenville, South Carolina, with a B. A. Degree, and received his law degree from Hamline University School of Law, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
John serves as the Clerk of the Fairfax Circuit Court, the largest circuit court in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was elected in 1991 to serve an eight-year term and was re-elected in 1999 and 2007. John has a staff of 163 employees with a budget of over 11 million dollars.
As Clerk, John is accountable for filing and tracking over 25,000 new court cases per year, issuing marriage licenses, processing notary public applications and overseeing fiduciary matters before the court. He also serves as the custodian of the Fairfax County land records dating back prior to 1742. Last year, approximately 135,000 new land transactions were added to the collection of records.
Prior to being elected Clerk, John was a principal in the law firm of Frey & Autry, P.C., where he practiced in the area of residential and commercial transactions.
John is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the Fairfax Bar Association. He is a past President of the National Association of County Recorders Election Officials and Clerks. John is also a member of the Property Records Industry Association, the Virginia Court Clerks’ Association and a past President of the Virginia Metropolitan Circuit Court Clerks’ Association. He is a former member of the State Public Records Advisory Board, the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, and the Board of Directors of the Fairfax Bar Foundation.
In 2006, John received the Public Official of the Year Award from the National Association of County Recorders Election Officials and Clerks (NACRC). This is the highest award that NACRC presents to any member. It “recognizes the member who has best exemplified a commitment to excellence in county government….”
Currently, John is President of the Virginia Association of Local Elected Constitutional Officers.
John and his wife, Sheila, live in West Springfield with their daughter, Stephanie. Their son Robert is married and living in Texas with his wife Kristi and their two children Allyson and Alexander.