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President Ferrero

On behalf of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association let me welcome you to our web page.  It is my hope the information contained within will help you better understand the role of Ohio’s county prosecutors. An Ohio county prosecutor has a variety of roles and responsibilities other than as the chief criminal prosecutor within each county.   As legal counsel to a variety of County elected officials, offices and agencies your county prosecutor assists in ensuring efficient and responsible county government.  A Prosecutor’s primary role is to assist in promoting the safety and protection of individuals, families and our communities.  Administering justice for victims of crime and the citizens of our State is one responsibility in carrying out this role.  The position of county prosecutor also encompasses the obligation that all parties to the prosecution receive a fair trial based upon the laws and procedures in place at that time. Please take your time and look around.  Hopefully you will find information here that is educational, informative and relevant about your county prosecutor.

John D. Ferrero
Stark County Prosecutor
2015 OPAA President

Ohio's Judicial System: What you should know.

- what do county prosecutors do

- the grand jury

- plea agreements

- DNA testing

- death penalty

- roster of elected prosecutors

Upcoming Events:

Executive and Legislative Committee Meetings
11:00 legislative, 12:00 lunch, 12:45 executive
Athletic Club of Columbus
August 20, 2015

Fall Training
September 24th and 25th, 2015
Cleveland Wyndham at Playhouse Square

Juvenile Prosecutor Training
October 1, 2015
Frank B. Willis Government Building, Delaware

Annual Meeting
December 3rd and 4th, 2015
Hilton Columbus Downtown

Visit the Events page for full schedule of upcoming OPAA activities.




OPAA Member Profile:
Mark J. Howdyshell
Morgan County Prosecutor
Prosecutor Howdyshell began his prosecutorial career as a part time assistant prosecutor in Perry County. He has also worked as an assistant prosecutor in Hocking and Morgan Counties. He served as the acting prosecutor for Morgan County while the elected prosecutor was serving an eighteen month tour of duty in Iraq during the first Gulf War. He has served as the full time elected prosecuting attorney of Morgan County since 2010. Mark is married to his high school sweetheart Carol and together they have four children. He is a graduate of Ohio University and Capital Law School. Prior to attending law school he worked full time on the family farm raising beef cattle. He has had many blessings in life, not the least of which was practicing with his father Walter Howdyshell. While in private practice he focused principally on real estate law. He learned to do title exams at his father’s side while still in grade school fetching books for his father and learning to run indexes. He continued serve his father’s oil and gas clients until he was elected prosecutor. He says only those lawyers who were taught the practice of law by a parent can truly appreciate the value of such an experience.
Having always lived in small towns and on farms in Southeast Ohio Prosecutor Howdyshell has a love of the land and the hills where he grew up. His principal hobbies are hunting, fishing, and dabbling in farming with his children. His current project is building a cabin on a remote section of a family owned property which he manages for wildlife habitat.
He says part of living in a small town and being in a leadership position is to join together with other volunteers to serve the community. One of the most rewarding volunteer activities he has been involved with resulted from answering an ad in the local newspaper soliciting persons willing to be trained as volunteer emergency medical technicians. He has now been the M&M Fire Department for five years as a volunteer EMT. He says it has become one of the most rewarding things he has ever done. A small county prosecutor has to be able to do it all and as the only full time prosecutor in Morgan County Prosecutor Howdyshell prosecutes traffic and minor criminal offenses in County Court; juvenile criminal, traffic, abuse, neglect, and truancy in Juvenile Court; child support collection in Domestic Relations Court; and serious crimes and county civil matters in Common Pleas Court. In addition he is responsible for advising and representing all township and county elected officials, boards, and commissions.

When asked about his job Mark always replies it’s the job I always wanted, I love my job, I love going to work, and I love the community and people I work with. What more could I ask for?    

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