POMEROY — After spending the past nine years working in the Athens City Prosecutor’s Office, James K. Stanley took the helm at the Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office earlier this week.
Stanley spent his first two days in office (although the office was technically closed Monday, he was still there) getting things in order before appearing in court for the first time as Prosecutor on Wednesday for a slate of hearings.
Stanley told the Sentinel that running the office will be the newest part of his role, as he is comfortable in the courtroom. He prosecuted more than 8,000 cases while with the Athens City Prosecutor’s Office.
One of his main focuses as prosecutor will be the drug epidemic in the area. Stanley said he will be meeting with members of the Gallia-Meigs Task Force, working to get a handle on the epidemic.
One key area where Stanley plans to focus in the effort to help the drug epidemic is educational programs in the schools, including those on drug and alcohol use, sexual assault prevention and dating violence. Stanley also spoke about his desire to work with a mock trial program in the schools.
Additionally, a focus will be given to increasing tax foreclosures, something he has been discussing with Treasurer Peggy Yost.
Stanley said he plans to be out in the public, hoping to hold town hall meetings to educate the public on what is going on and the resources that are available, as well as listening to ideas and concerns of the community.
Stanley said he plans to maintain an open door policy and would prefer to meet with people face-to-face rather than communication via email. He emphasized that those with questions, concerns or criticisms should reach out to him directly.
Other items which will see an update will include the Facebook page and website.
Stanley is a graduate of Meigs High School has spent all of his life in Meigs County, except for his college years.
After receiving a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Ohio University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Akron School of Law, he accepted a position with the Athens City Prosecutor.
Currently, Stanley is the only full-time attorney in the office as he looks to fill the vacancy left by former-Assistant Prosecutor Jeremy Fisher who left to take the same position in Gallia County.
Local attorney Trenton Cleland is continuing with the office to handle county court cases.
Courtney Nitz is continuing with the Prosecutor’s Office as a legal secretary and office manager, while Erika Stewart will also serve as a legal secretary.
Tuesday was also the first day at the prosecutor’s office for Alexis Schwab who was hired in the fall as a part-time employee with the Victim Assistance Office. Schwab will work primarily on civil protection orders and special projects according to Victim Assistance Director Theda Petrasko.
Schwab joins Petrasko and Shelley Kemper.