Change needed in the Union County Prosecutor’s Office

Why we need Alison Boggs for Union County Prosecutor

Alison Boggs is concerned with the direction the Union County Prosecutor’s Office has taken since 2005. Specifically, she recognizes a pattern of over-indicted, reckless prosecutions, favors and irresponsible spending.

Over-indictments in the current Union County Prosecutor’s Office

The number of felony cases in Union County has risen at an alarming rate. A closer look suggests a pattern of over-indicting cases. Over-indicting, from a prosecutor’s viewpoint is a strategy that all but ensures a conviction, no matter how shaky the case may be. Because many people are afraid to go to trial, they accept plea offers in order to get some of the “trumped-up” charges dismissed. The end result is a conviction even for cases where it was not warranted.

In his zealousness to create inflated numbers of cases he has prosecuted, Mr. Phillips, the incumbent Union County Prosecutor, sacrificed accuracy and integrity for statistics. Here are a few examples of cases that weren’t thoroughly investigated and reviewed by before rushing the case to the Grand Jury:

  1. State v. Ward, Case No. 08-CR-0011, the prosecutor dismissed a second degree felony because “upon further investigation by this office, in the interests of justice, the best possible resolution to this case would be a misdemeanor charge.”When preparing for trial, it was discovered that one of the basic elements of the crime couldn’t be proved at all.” Terry Hord, Chief Assistant Prosecutor in the current administration was quoted in the Marysville Journal Tribune “that it was difficult to determine whether Ward knowingly broke the boy’s arm, or if it happened accidentally. [...] Everything I came up against was that this was a reckless situation, but it was going to prove it was knowingly, which is the standard we had to meet in trial.” Marysville Journal Tribune, April 29, 2008.The key here is that the facts at the time the case was submitted to the prosecutor, which indicated then that the act was reckless and not knowlingly did not suddenly change when the case was prepared for trial. The citizens of Union County have to be able to believe and trust in the Grand Jury system. Examples like the Ward case make people question the integrity of the process: a main element of the crime could not be proven to be more than an accident, yet it was presented in such a way to a Grand Jury that they believed ‘knowingly’ was proven.
  2. State v. Isaacs, Case No. 07-CR-0151, case dismissed entirely “for the reason that upon further investigation this office has discovered identification problems, conflicting statements reagrding the facts of the case, and therefore cannot proceed with prosecution of the defendant.” (Defendant was never present at the scene of the crime)
  3. State v. Cox, Case Nos. 08-CR-0009 and 08-CR-0010, Mr. Phillips dismissed two counts of involuntary manslaughter (one on each case) and amended two counts “to conform to the evidence.”

In the first two cases, had the case been properly and thoroughly reviewed before it went to the Grand Jury, those errors would have been discovered and indictments would have been avoided. But because it is a numbers game to Mr. Phillips, there was no interest in making sure the indictments were accurate and honest.

Phillips accused Alison of ignoring the Cox cases while she was in office. Three years later, he indicted these cases only to find that the evidence didn’t support involuntary manslaughter charges. But because Phillips wanted to make headlines, he went forward knowing he couldn’t prove them. In the local newspaper, he blamed Alison for the delay in prosecution but changed his story to waiting for evidence from the coroner when quoted in the Columbus Dispatch.

It goes to show that the current administration supports reckless prosecutions, with no regard for the innocence of the individuals. He wants numbers and he gets numbers.

Favors?

When Alison took office in 2001, she respected the convictions earned by Mr. Schneider, the previous prosecutor. When a case came back for review on sentencing or early release, Alison either reviewed the file for notes or contacted Mr. Schneider for his thoughts on the current situation. Not so with Mr. Phillips, Alison’s opponent.

A convicted pedophile back on the street

In State v. Horch, Case No. 03-CR-0033, Alison convicted Mr. Horch of rape and multiple counts of pandering obscenity involving minors and he was originally sentenced to 27.5 years of prison. The Third District Court of Appeals remanded the case back for resentencing, finding a technicality that the judge didn’t make all the proper findings to support the sentence. The convictions were solid, the sentencing had to be redone and the technicalities fixed, but the term could remain the same. Instead, Mr. Phillips agreed to a ten year prison term: four years that had to be served because it was mandatory, after which Mr. Horch would be released and placed on community control. He was out in four years. Is it a coincidence that Mr Horch’s mother contributed to Mr. Phillips’ campaign in 2004?

Irresponsible spending

Mr. Phillips increased the prosecutor’s budget by $225,862 in four years and seeks to increase it an additional $25,000 for 2009. He allows his staff to have private practices outside the office. As of 2012, his highest paid assistant earns $93,000 per year, while also drawing a public pension. Alison believes that the prosecutor’s office should hire talent at a salary in line with the needs of the office—don’t pay for a “Rockstar” when a “Steady-Eddie” will do. She will support the prosecutor’s office with entry-level salaries and require her staff to put in full-time hours for their full-time paycheck.

Vote for Alison Boggs for Union County Prosecutor

  • She’ll do what’s right
  • She owes no one favors
  • She’s fiscally conservative