Criminal Justice Update
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Criminal Justice Update

Special Prosecutions team prepared to assist

The Attorney General’s special prosecutors work on a wide range of cases in all corners of Ohio, and thanks to an impressive conviction rate, their proponents are just as widespread. In fact, demand for the office’s help with prosecutions prompted Attorney General Mike DeWine to increase staff in this area and to designate Special Prosecutions as its own section.

The section is headed by Matt Donahue, a former Meigs County assistant prosecutor who joined the AG’s office in 2011 to focus on prescription and synthetic drug cases. He is one of 11 prosecutors in the section, which will grow to 13 attorneys in the coming months, up from six previously.
“The increase was driven purely by demand. To be able to provide the services prosecutors were requesting, and that they deserve, we had to add more staff,” Donahue said. “Making Special Prosecutions its own section underscores the importance of this work and gives us the resources and flexibility to provide first-rate assistance to Ohio prosecutors.”
Attorneys with the section — all career prosecutors — can step in when local prosecutors have a conflict, need additional resources or expertise, or face matters of first impression. They are available for everything from a quick phone consultation to the lead role in a prosecution, and their services are provided at no cost to local offices.
“Essentially, the local prosecutor is the coach and he or she tells us what position to play,” Donahue said. “We only come in when requested, so if local prosecutors need anything, they should ask and we’ll get it done.”
Special Prosecutions can handle felonies of all types, including cases involving crimes against children, sexual assault, synthetic drugs, pill mills, and public corruption. Recent cases included assisting Summit and Noble counties with two CraigsList murder trials and prosecuting a high-profile rape case in Steubenville.
For assistance: To request Special Prosecutions’ assistance, call 614-644-7233 or email