STEUBENVILLE - Jane Hanlin was unanimously appointed Jefferson County prosecutor Tuesday after a meeting of the Jefferson County Democratic Party Central Committee.
Thomas Straus, who was prosecutor since 2004, retired on Feb. 28.
Hanlin, who is the county's first female prosecutor, was to take her oath of office at 11:30 a.m. today administered by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr.
NEW PROSECUTOR -- Jane Hanlin was unanimously appointed Jefferson County prosecutor Tuesday after a meeting of the Jefferson County Democratic Party Central Committee.
-- Mark Law
"I'm thrilled to be appointed Jefferson County prosecutor. I have been working with Tom and the entire team trying cases since he was elected," Hanlin said.
Hanlin, 41, also is president of the Steubenville City Schools Board of Education but she will have to resign from that post now that she is county prosecutor. State law says the county prosecutor can't serve on a school board. She was allowed to be an assistant county prosecutor and be on the school board.
"The only sad part for me in being appointed prosecutor is having to resign from the school board. It has been my honor to serve on the school board for a number of years. I think it is a great school district. For me, this is the hardest part of being appointed prosecutor."
Hanlin will serve as county prosecutor through the end of 2012 but will have to run for election next year.
Hanlin said she will maintain her private family law practice. Under Ohio law, a county prosecutor can give up his or her private practice and the pay as prosecutor is more. Hanlin will receive less pay as county prosecutor, a move she says will save the taxpayers money. Straus gave up his private practice when he was first elected.
Hanlin said her biggest goal as prosecutor will be to work with law enforcement throughout the county.
"That will be my biggest focus - improving relations with law enforcement. The success of the prosecutor's office only comes with cooperation with law enforcement. They put a lot of effort into catching criminals. Our job is to work with them to successfully prosecute the criminals."
Straus and county Democratic Party Chairman John Abdalla both recommended Hanlin for the appointment. Frank Bruzzese, county Democratic Party vice chairman, nominated Hanlin during the central committee's meeting Tuesday. The vote of the central committee was unanimous.
Abdalla said Hanlin has tried more than half of all felony cases through the prosecutor's office during the past six years, and she has a 100 percent conviction rate.
Abdalla said all of Hanlin's convictions have resulted in substantial prison terms, which have been upheld on appeal all the way up to the Ohio Supreme Court.
"Jane Hanlin takes the bad guys to trial and then shows them the prison door. That makes her perfect for the job," Abdalla said.
Hanlin received her law degree from Duquesne University.
(Law can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)