Harrison prosecutor faces primary election challenge

CADIZ – Harrison County Prosecutor Michael B. Washington faces a primary election challenge from attorney Owen Beetham as the two seek the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s election.

No Democrat filed in the race, according to records from the Harrison County Board of Elections.

Beetham is the fourth generation of his family to serve in Harrison County. He is the son of longtime county court Judge Mark Beetham and the grandson of former Prosecutor Thomas Beetham. He runs a law practice. He has represented clients in litigation cases involving land use, mineral and oil and gas law, and cases involving issues with to the county, townships, and villages dealing with the surge of activity accompanying oil and gas development. Those matters include zoning and land use, road-use issues, reclamation and easements and rights of ways.

He graduated from Cadiz High School, earned a bachelor’s degree at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and received a law degree from the University of Toledo. Prior to law school, he served as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives, where his legislative responsibilities included criminal law, the judiciary, family law and aging, campaign finance and election law.

Beetham is a lifelong resident of Harrison County. He resides in Cadiz with his wife, Dr. Porsche Beetham, and their daughter, Phoebe.

Washington was hired in January 2002 as an assistant prosecutor by former county Prosecutor Matthew P. Puskarich. The Harrison County Republican Central Committee appointed him to the top job last June, when former Prosecutor T. Shawn Hervey became a Common Pleas Court judge.

During his 11 years as assistant prosecutor, Washington also served as village attorney for Harrisville, Freeport, New Athens, Jewett and Hopedale, and also worked for Cadiz.

He has prosecuted a number of felony cases. He has presented cases in Harrison County Court, Harrison County Juvenile Court, the Common Pleas General Division and the 7th District Court of Appeals.

He also provides legal advice for the Harrison County commissioners, township trustees, county office holders and department heads.

Washington has worked with and advised local law enforcement for more than a decade. Washington, a resident of Hopedale, is a member of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, National District Attorneys Association, life member of the National Rifle Association and member of the Harrison County Farm Bureau.