Legislative Service Commission
Sub. H.B. 33
126th General Assembly
(As Passed by the General Assembly)
Reps. Wagner, Combs, Allen, Barrett, Hartnett, McGregor, Brown, Reidelbach, Wolpert, C. Evans, Harwood, Taylor, Flowers, Bubp, Carano, Cassell, Chandler, Collier, Daniels, Distel, Dolan, Dominick, D. Evans, Faber, Fende, Fessler, Gibbs, Hagan, Hughes, Kearns, Latta, Law, Reinhard, Schlichter, Schneider, Seaver, Setzer, D. Stewart, Wagoner, Walcher
Sens. Zurz, Fedor, Amstutz, Gardner, Grendell, Schuler
Effective date: *
Provision of legal services by prosecuting attorney to certain political subdivisions
Continuing and former law
Continuing law designates the prosecuting attorney of a county as the legal adviser of (1) the board of county commissioners, board of elections, and all other county officers and boards, including all tax-supported libraries, (2) all township officers, boards, and commissions in a township that has not adopted a limited home rule government, and (3) each township that has adopted a limited home rule government and that has entered into a contract to have the prosecuting attorney serve as the township law director (R.C. 309.09(A) and (B)). Continuing law also allows the prosecuting attorney, in the prosecuting attorney's discretion, to serve as the legal adviser to a joint fire district, but, under former law, the service had to be at no cost to the district (R.C. 309.09(E)).
Further, under continuing law, the prosecuting attorney, together with the board of county commissioners, may contract with the board of park commissioners of a metropolitan park district to provide the district with legal services. All moneys received pursuant to such a contract must be deposited in the prosecuting attorney's legal services fund, which must be established in the county treasury. Under former law, money in that fund could be appropriated only to the prosecuting attorney for the purpose of providing legal services under the contract to the metropolitan park district. The act expands, as explained below, the purposes for which that fund's money may be used. (R.C. 309.09(D) and (I).)
Changes proposed by the act
The act authorizes the prosecuting attorney, in the prosecuting attorney's discretion and with the approval of the board of county commissioners, to be the legal adviser to any or all of the following special districts at no cost to the district: (1) joint ambulance districts, (2) joint emergency medical services districts, (3) fire and ambulance districts, and (4) joint fire districts. It also authorizes the prosecuting attorney to be the legal adviser to any or all of those districts under a contract that the prosecuting attorney and the district enter into, and that the board of county commissioners approves, to authorize the prosecuting attorney to provide legal services to the district (R.C. 309.09(E), (F), (G), and (H)).
The act also requires all money a prosecuting attorney receives under a contract entered into with a board of park commissioners of a metropolitan park district (continuing law) or with a joint fire district, joint ambulance district, joint emergency medical services district, or fire and ambulance district (added by the act) to be paid into the prosecuting attorney's legal services fund that, if one does not exist under continuing law, must be established in the county treasury. Money in that fund may be appropriated only to the prosecuting attorney for the purpose of providing legal services to a metropolitan park district, joint fire district, joint ambulance district, joint emergency medical services district, or fire and ambulance district, as applicable, under a contract. (R.C. 309.09(D) and (I).)
Membership of assistant prosecuting attorney on certain boards of education
Continuing law prohibits a prosecuting attorney, city law director, or other official acting in a similar capacity from being a member of a board of education of a school district (R.C. 3313.13). The Attorney General has opined that this prohibition prevents an assistant prosecuting attorney from being the member of a board of education of a city school district. 2004 Op. Att'y. Gen. No. 2004-049.
The act authorizes an assistant prosecuting attorney to be a member of a board of education in any county other than the county in which the assistant prosecuting attorney is employed if the board of education's school district is not contiguous to the county in which the assistant prosecuting attorney is employed (R.C. 3313.13).
Continuing law authorizes specified combinations of counties, municipal corporations, townships, and special districts to form joint fire districts, joint ambulance districts, joint emergency medical services districts, and fire and ambulance districts to carry out the function or functions reflected in their title.
* The Legislative Service Commission had not received formal notification of the effective date at the time this analysis was prepared. Additionally, the analysis may not reflect action taken by the Governor.