Tekulve marks first 100 days as Prosecutor

From Mark Tekulve:

As the newly elected prosecutor for Clermont County, I want to first thank the voters of Clermont County for the opportunity to serve as the Prosecutor. It is the highest honor of my career.

The job of the prosecutor isn’t simply about putting away the bad guys, prosecutors have a duty to do justice. Additionally, the Civil Division of my office provides many varied legal services for all Clermont County elected officials and their departments. We also provide legal services for other County offices such as the Board of Elections, Public Health, the Public Library Board, the Veterans Service Commission, the County Park District, and all Non-Home Rule Township Trustees and their departments.

Fortunately, I have a talented team of attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staff who come to work every day focused on serving the people of Clermont County. I could not be prouder to work with these great professionals.

Additionally, I’ve brought in a few new members to the office. David Gast is the chief of our misdemeanor criminal division; Lara Baron-Allen is our new felony chief; Brian Shrive and Joe Mooney join the civil division; and Stephanie Ross is my chief administrator.

Now for some sobering numbers. In just the first few months of 2021, we have filed 1,253 new misdemeanor criminal cases and 296 felony cases. Aggravated possession of drugs is the primary charge on approximately one-third of the felony cases. The opioid epidemic has not ended here in Clermont County and more must be done.

Our office has reinstituted the misdemeanor diversion program. This program allows first-time low level offenders to participate in education and community service programs in lieu of a conviction. This will allow the offender to understand the consequences of his or her actions without a permanent criminal record that may later interfere with job opportunities. Our goal is to improve the community. Sometimes that means jail time, but other times that means an approach that allows people to learn and grow and move on toward being a productive member of the community. In every case, our prosecutors have the resources and ability to determine the appropriate course of action.

My office also provides victim advocates to help comfort victims of crime and explain their rights. Our victim advocate program is going strong. Stephanie Ross continues to shine, finding grants and other resources to allow us to provide services to victims of crime at their critical time of need. We are proud to partner with the YWCA in those efforts.

In the coming months you will see me and my team out engaging in educational and outreach efforts. If your school, church, or other organization would like to hear from me or my team, please contact the Prosecutor’s Office at 732-7313 or via email at prosoffice@clermontcountyohio.gov.

On behalf of myself and the entire prosecutor’s office, thank you for the opportunity to serve.