New Prosecutors Focus On Community Justice, Helping Law Enforcement

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The two newest members of the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office’s team of attorneys both bring with them a great deal of experience, according to Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn. One is the former director of the local public defender’s office, the other once worked closely with Gov. Ted Strickland before opening his own private practice.

Glenn Jones and John Haseley are the newest members of the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office. Jones started last Monday and Haseley began his work March 10.

Jones is a former director of the Athens branch of the State Public Defender’s office and had recently resigned from his job when he was offered a position by Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.

“The public defender’s office was an excellent place to work,” Jones said. “I received some of the best legal training I’ve ever had there.”

Blackburn jumped at the chance to bring Jones into the fold.

“(Jones) left the public defender’s office and did not have a job, and I felt lucky that someone with that level of experience was available,” Blackburn said.

Jones served a four-year stint with the U.S. Marine Corps as an intelligence officer. He said he took part in counter-narcotics operations on the border of Mexico.

“I was in charge of a unit that planted sensors along the U.S.-Mexican border to find drugs brought across the border,” Jones said.

He left the Marine Corps as a captain and went on to law school immediately after his discharge.

A native of Scioto County, Jones worked in the prison system for the public defender’s office and became a contract attorney in Adams County. He is also certified to serve on death penalty cases.

“I’m just hoping now to be able to use my skills as a marine intelligence officer (and) what the public defender’s office taught me…to do the work here,” Jones said.

To avoid conflicts from his previous position at the public defender’s office, Jones’ office is currently in the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, outside of the prosecutor’s office. He said it’s a location he likes, because he’s able to work directly with law enforcement. As a certified instructor for the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy, Jones hopes to continue helping local law enforcement.

Jones will work mainly criminal prosecution along with work with the property crimes task force. He’ll also work with local law enforcement on investigations.

Haseley’s position will focus on community justice and civil matters involving the county.

After most of a life spent in public service, Haseley returned to the area where he grew up and the town of his alma mater to work with Blackburn.

Before the Alexander schools graduate came back to Athens, he worked in the offices of former Ohio Governor Richard Celeste, Senator John Glenn and Ted Strickland — both when he was in Congress and when he became Governor.

Blackburn worked for Haseley when he worked for Strickland in 2005, and said he “actively pursued” Haseley when an opening came up in the prosecutor’s office.

“(Haseley) has an enormous capability of being able to do just about anything he’s asked to do,” Blackburn said. “To be able to move this office past our 99.8 percent conviction rate … I need someone with John’s skill set.”

Haseley started his own law firm in Columbus after working with public officials. He decided to move to Athens to be closer to family, including his parents, who are still in the area.

Haseley said he is excited to be able to work on community justice and bringing awareness to the county citizens about the problems in their areas.

“(Blackburn) understands that tough enforcement is not the only answer,” Haseley said. “You have to look beyond tough enforcement and deal with people’s addiction and the community. I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”

To help with the community justice work that Haseley will be focused on, Jones is currently writing an application for a $400,000 Justice Assistance Grant to help fund the community justice initiative.

The prosecutor’s office has typically maintained six prosecutors to handle court cases, so Haseley’s court time will be minimal. But with an increased workload due changes in legislation and more cases being opened every year, Blackburn said having more hands to help will definitely be beneficial.