POMEROY, Ohio – Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney James K. Stanley has released a review of the office’s activity in 2017.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office presented 169 cases to the grand jury for which indictments were returned and made public record. In sum, those 169 indictments contained 373 criminal counts. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office closed approximately 133 cases in the Court of Common Pleas. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office prosecuted approximately 354 cases in County Court as well as many cases in Juvenile Court. Additionally, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office handled several appeals in both the Fourth District Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court as well as two cases before the Parole Board.
Of course, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office’s success cannot be measured solely in terms of criminal convictions. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office fulfills many other functions on behalf of the people of Meigs County.
The victim assistance program recently released its 2017 End of Year Fiscal Report. The victim assistance program is staffed by three advocates who served 452 new crime victims in 2017 as well as many victims from pre-2017 cases. This service included 177 crises responses; 258 requests for protection orders; 4,101 contacts with victims via telephone, fax, or letter; and 1,480 court appearances. The types of crime victims the victim assistance program served included 40 adult physical assaults; seven adult sexual assaults; one arson; 55 burglary and breaking and entering offenses; 49 child abuse or child endangering offenses; one child pornography offense; 22 child sexual assaults; 120 domestic violence offenses; ten OVIs; 25 identity fraud, unauthorized use of credit cards, or bad check offenses; ten kidnappings; two leaving the scene of an accident offenses; 29 stalking or harassment offenses; one homicide; and 11 violation of protection order offenses.
Members of the victim assistance program, along with Prosecutor Stanley, attended the Ohio Attorney General’s Two Days in May training seminar in Columbus, Ohio. Advocates attended additional training seminars, including one held in Rocksprings. Prosecutor Stanley and the advocates became some of the first in the State of Ohio who publicly endorsed Marsy’s Law, which was the proposed Constitutional Amendment that passed overwhelmingly in November and which goes into effect this month. Advocates staffed an informational table at the Meigs County Fair and provided literature to hundreds of people who stopped by. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and victim assistance program also honored crime victims during the National Crime Victim’s Rights Week in April by hosting a ceremony for homicide victims and displaying crime victim statistics and information in the Pomeroy parking lot.
Civil litigation and other civil legal matters comprised a large percentage of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office practice in 2017. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office represented and advised township trustees on various issues including health care, cemetery issues, roadway maintenance, and fire protection, amongst others. Township trustees work hard to ensure their townships are maintained for the benefit of the people, and Prosecutor Stanley is glad to have worked with them to successfully resolve many matters.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office also represented and advised county officials and was quite busy last year. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office was and continues to be involved in major civil litigation on behalf of the Board of Commissioners in order to protect the tax payer’s interest in the Meigs County Water and Sewer District. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office represented the treasurer in bank foreclosure actions in order to protect the county’s property tax interest in countless properties. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office also took preliminary steps to institute civil litigation on behalf of the treasurer to collect delinquent real estate taxes. Prosecutor Stanley even had the opportunity to teach a two-hour legal update course to local law enforcement officers.
Prosecutor Stanley continued efforts to put a dent in the drug addiction epidemic, including criminal prosecutions with stiff sentences, participating in eradication efforts, regularly attending Meigs County Community Prevention Coalition meetings, and hosting the Meigs County Recovery Services Townhall Meeting at the Pomeroy branch of the Meigs County Public Library. Tackling the drug addiction epidemic is a monumental task, but with law enforcement, recovery services, and the general public all working together, progress is being made.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office started a new Facebook page, which now has over 1,000 followers, and has utilized the page to provide the public with regular updates regarding indictments, arraignments, and convictions, as well as other information. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office published warrant lists for defendants in both the Court of Common Pleas and County Court on Facebook, which quickly led to multiple arrests and even to a few defendants turning themselves in.
Prosecutor Stanley addressed students at Southern High School during the pre-prom distracted driving program and told the students stories of those he knew who died from distracted and intoxicated driving. Prosecutor Stanley also briefly addressed students during a Meigs County Board of Commissioner’s meeting at Southern High School regarding the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office duties and responsibilities. Prosecutor Stanley enjoys connecting with students and welcomes the opportunity to speak with classes or any organization outside school about topics ranging from the criminal process to teen dating violence to internet safety and much more. Prosecutor Stanley is also available to speak with adult groups regarding a variety of legal and awareness issues as well.
Fostering a love of the law and criminal justice in our youth is important and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office instituted a job-shadowing program in which several students had the opportunity to observe Prosecutor Stanley and his assistants both in office and in the courtroom. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office hired a college student to serve as a part-time legal assistant, and partnered with Ohio Means Jobs to hire a high school student to also serve as a part-time legal assistant. Those interested in the job-shadowing program or possible summer employment are encouraged to contact the office.
Prosecutor Stanley regularly made himself available to the public via walk-ins, appointments, and telephone calls so that concerned citizens could discuss a number of issues with him personally and welcomes the opportunity to speak with as many people as possible. Prosecutor Stanley looks forward to continuing to work with law enforcement, other elected officials, and the public as a team to build upon the success the office had in 2017 so that Meigs County continues to shine as a place we are all proud to call home.