130th Ohio General Assembly
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(126th General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 33)



AN ACT
To amend sections 309.09 and 3313.13 of the Revised Code to permit the prosecuting attorney, with the approval of the board of county commissioners, to be the legal adviser to a joint fire district, to a joint ambulance district, to a fire and ambulance district, and to a joint emergency medical services district either at no cost to the district or under a contract with the district, and to allow an assistant prosecuting attorney to be a member of a school board in a county other than the county in which the assistant is employed.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 309.09 and 3313.13 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 309.09.  (A) The prosecuting attorney shall be the legal adviser of the board of county commissioners, board of elections, and all other county officers and boards, including all tax-supported public libraries, and any of them may require written opinions or instructions from the prosecuting attorney in matters connected with their official duties. The prosecuting attorney shall prosecute and defend all suits and actions which any such officer or board directs or to which it is a party, and no county officer may employ any other counsel or attorney at the expense of the county, except as provided in section 305.14 of the Revised Code.

(B) The prosecuting attorney shall be the legal adviser for all township officers, boards, and commissions, unless the township has adopted a limited home rule government pursuant to Chapter 504. of the Revised Code and has not entered into a contract to have the prosecuting attorney serve as the township law director, in which case the township law director, whether serving full-time or part-time, shall be the legal adviser for all township officers, boards, and commissions. When the board of township trustees finds it advisable or necessary to have additional legal counsel, it may employ an attorney other than the township law director or the prosecuting attorney of the county, either for a particular matter or on an annual basis, to represent the township and its officers, boards, and commissions in their official capacities and to advise them on legal matters. No such legal counsel may be employed, except on the order of the board of township trustees, duly entered upon its journal, in which the compensation to be paid for the legal services shall be fixed. The compensation shall be paid from the township fund.

Nothing in this division confers any of the powers or duties of a prosecuting attorney under section 309.08 of the Revised Code upon a township law director.

(C) Whenever the board of county commissioners employs an attorney other than the prosecuting attorney of the county, without the authorization of the court of common pleas as provided in section 305.14 of the Revised Code, either for a particular matter or on an annual basis, to represent the board in its official capacity and to advise it on legal matters, the board shall enter upon its journal an order of the board in which the compensation to be paid for the legal services shall be fixed. The compensation shall be paid from the county general fund. The total compensation paid, in any year, by the board for legal services under this division shall not exceed the total annual compensation of the prosecuting attorney for that county.

(D) The prosecuting attorney and the board of county commissioners jointly may contract with a board of park commissioners under section 1545.07 of the Revised Code for the prosecuting attorney to provide legal services to the park district the board of park commissioners operates. All moneys received pursuant to the contract shall be deposited into the prosecuting attorney's legal services fund, which shall be established in the county treasury of each county in which the contract exists. Moneys in that fund may be appropriated only to the prosecuting attorney for the purpose of providing legal services under a contract entered into under this division.

(E) The prosecuting attorney may be, in the prosecuting attorney's discretion and with the approval of the board of county commissioners, the legal adviser of a joint fire district created under section 505.371 of the Revised Code, at no cost to the district or may be the legal adviser to the district under a contract that the prosecuting attorney and the district enter into, and that the board of county commissioner approves, to authorize the prosecuting attorney to provide legal services to the district.

(F) The prosecuting attorney may be, in the prosecuting attorney's discretion and with the approval of the board of county commissioners, the legal adviser of a joint ambulance district created under section 505.71 of the Revised Code at no cost to the district or may be the legal adviser to the district 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.

(G) The prosecuting attorney may be, in the prosecuting attorney's discretion and with the approval of the board of county commissioners, the legal adviser of a joint emergency medical services district created under section 307.052 of the Revised Code at no cost to the district or may be the legal adviser to the district 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.

(H) The prosecuting attorney may be, in the prosecuting attorney's discretion and with the approval of the board of county commissioners, the legal adviser of a fire and ambulance district created under section 505.375 of the Revised Code at no cost to the district or may be the legal adviser to the district 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.

(I) All money received pursuant to a contract entered into under division (D), (E), (F), (G), or (H) of this section shall be deposited into the prosecuting attorney's legal services fund, which shall be established in the county treasury of each county in which such a contract exists. Moneys in that fund may be appropriated only to the prosecuting attorney for the purpose of providing legal services to a park district, joint fire district, joint ambulance district, joint emergency medical services district, or a fire and ambulance district, as applicable, under a contract entered into under the applicable division.

Sec. 3313.13.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, no prosecuting attorney, city director of law, or other official acting in a similar capacity shall be a member of a board of education.

An assistant prosecuting attorney may serve as a member of a board of education of a school district 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.

A city director of law who was appointed to his that position under a city charter, village solicitor, or other chief legal officer of a municipal corporation may serve as a member of a board of education for which he the chief legal officer is not the legal adviser and attorney under section 3313.35 of the Revised Code. A city director of law who was appointed to his that position under a city charter may serve as a member of a board of education for which he the city director of law is the legal adviser and attorney under section 3313.35 of the Revised Code, but only if the board uses no legal services of his the office of the city law director or if the legal services of his that office that it does use are performed under contract by persons not employed by his that office.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 309.09 and 3313.13 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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