The Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office is one of many county offices that will be closed every Friday, starting July 17th, to save the county money.
Prosecutor Mark Howdyshell says it was a mutual decision made between the county commissioners and all officeholders.
“They met with all the officeholders and discussed, we have this budget shortfall. Here’s what we’re thinking about doing. How can we work this out with the officeholders? ” says Howdyshell.
Howdyshell says while the offices themselves won’t have staff in on Fridays and will be closed to the public, the officeholders themselves will still be working.
He says the decision will have a huge impact on his office because of the office’s workload, and Howdyshell’s biggest concern surrounds a June murder case, where Travis Lee Fischer is accused of killing Abi Mathews.
“As that nears and requires preparation time, I’m just not sure how I’m going to deal with that. I’ve asked the Attorney General to assign someone from the Attorney General’s Office to help me with that case, a lawyer, which I believe they’re going to do, ” says Howdyshell.
Howdyshell says his office has 90 days from the date of Fischer’s arrest to try the case, and he says things are going to start moving really quickly.
If the budget doesn’t improve, he’s not sure he can make more cuts. Howdyshell says he’s already gotten rid of two Assisting Prosecuting Attorneys.
” I don’t see how my office can function without two secretaries because I’m responsible for prosecutions in County Court, Juvenile Court, Common Pleas Court. I’m responsible for child support enforcement, plus attending to the needs of all the officeholders, ” says Howdyshell.
Guernsey and Morrow counties are two other Ohio counties that have been forced to close county offices on Fridays to save money.