MOUNT VERNON — As long as human nature remains flawed, there should be no shortage of work for Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher and his staff. About 200 felony cases a year are presented in Common Pleas Court, but that is the tip of the iceberg of the caseload.
Felony indictments have doubled since Thatcher took office in January of 2005, but there have also been increases in civil litigation, property tax foreclosures, juvenile cases, child support collections and other cases. Staff size has not increased since the 1980s, and a nine percent budget cutback in 2009 forced the layoff of one employee. Thatcher’s current budget is just three percent more than it was in 2008, but that’s just one of the job’s challenges.
Funding of the office comes from a variety of sources, the largest being allocations made from tax revenues by the county commissioners. The prosecutor represents the county treasurer in delinquent tax actions and retains half of the moneys collected. Federal and state grants assist with specific programs such as child support enforcement. One assistant prosecutor is paid through the Department of Jobs and Family Services, and another’s position is funded through a fellowship. Seized and forfeited assets also contribute to revenues.
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