Law Director, City of Mason: Jeff Forbes
Prosecutor: Bethany Bennett – (513) 229-8590
Assistant Prosecutor: Matt Nolan
The Court designates, as an officer of the Court, the Prosecutor, pursuant to Rule 2 of The Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure. In such capacity, he/she is directed by the Court to make an initial determination that there is a probable cause that a criminal offense has been committed and that the defendant is likely to be the party responsible for that offense.
SECTION 6.03 POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE LAW DIRECTOR.
The Law Director shall be the legal adviser, attorney, and counsel for the Municipality and for all offices, departments, divisions, bureaus, boards, commissions and bodies of the Municipality in connection with Municipal affairs; and, subject to the direction of the Council, shall represent the Municipality in all proceedings in Court or before any administrative board or body. He shall perform such other duties consistent with his office, as may be required by this Charter, by ordinance or resolution of the Council, or by the laws of the State of Ohio. The Law Director shall be the prosecuting attorney on behalf of the Municipality and shall prosecute cases brought before courts of competent jurisdiction.
The Council may provide for such assistants and special counsel to the Law Director as shall be deemed advisable. All assistants shall be responsible to the Law Director and, when authorized by him, may exercise all or any part of the powers and duties granted to the Law Director under this section. Special counsel may be selected by the Council or the Law Director as determined by the Council; and such special counsel may perform those powers and functions as authorized by and in the manner provided by the Council.
As such, the executive branch of government must supply his payroll, staffing and supply needs. The purpose of this set of checks and balances is Constitutionally driven so that the Court does not control the Prosecutor’s office nor is the Court held hostage by the Prosecutor’s office. As per ORC §1901.34, the payment of the prosecutor of a municipal court is received through the office of city law director.
§ 1901.34 Criminal prosecution; compensation of prosecuting officers.
(A) Except as provided in divisions (B) and (D) of this section, the village solicitor, city director of law, or similar chief legal officer for each municipal corporation within the territory of a municipal court shall prosecute all cases brought before the municipal court for criminal offenses occurring within the municipal corporation for which that person is the solicitor, director of law, or similar chief legal officer. Except as provided in division (B) of this section, the village solicitor, city director of law, or similar chief legal officer of the municipal corporation in which a municipal court is located shall prosecute all criminal cases brought before the court arising in the unincorporated areas within the territory of the municipal court.
(B) The Auglaize county, Clermont county, Hocking county, Jackson county, Ottawa county, and Portage county prosecuting attorneys shall prosecute in municipal court all violations of state law arising in their respective counties. The Crawford county, Hamilton county, Madison county, and Wayne county prosecuting attorneys shall prosecute all violations of state law arising within the unincorporated areas of their respective counties. The Columbiana county prosecuting attorney shall prosecute in the Columbiana county municipal court all violations of state law arising in the county, except for violations arising in the municipal corporation of East Liverpool, Liverpool township, or St. Clair township.
The prosecuting attorney of any county given the duty of prosecuting in municipal court violations of state law shall receive no additional compensation for assuming these additional duties, except that the prosecuting attorney of Hamilton, Portage, and Wayne counties shall receive compensation at the rate of four thousand eight hundred dollars per year, and the prosecuting attorney of Auglaize county shall receive compensation at the rate of one thousand eight hundred dollars per year, each payable from the county treasury of the respective counties in semimonthly installments.
(D) The prosecuting attorney of any county, other than Auglaize, Clermont, Hocking, Jackson, Ottawa, or Portage county, may enter into an agreement with any municipal corporation in the county in which the prosecuting attorney serves pursuant to which the prosecuting attorney prosecutes all criminal cases brought before the municipal court that has territorial jurisdiction over that municipal corporation for criminal offenses occurring within the municipal corporation. The prosecuting attorney of Auglaize, Clermont, Hocking, Jackson, Ottawa, or Portage county may enter into an agreement with any municipal corporation in the county in which the prosecuting attorney serves pursuant to which the respective prosecuting attorney prosecutes all cases brought before the Auglaize, Clermont, Hocking, Jackson, Ottawa, or Portage county municipal court for violations of the ordinances of the municipal corporation or for criminal offenses other than violations of state law occurring within the municipal corporation. For prosecuting these cases, the prosecuting attorney and the municipal corporation may agree upon a fee to be paid by the municipal corporation, which fee shall be paid into the county treasury, to be used to cover expenses of the office of the prosecuting attorney.