Office of the Ohio Public Defender Office of the Ohio Public Defender

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Branch Offices

Multi-County Program

The Ohio Public Defender began the operation of the Multi-County Branch Office Program in 1991. The program consists of 10 counties in the south and southeastern part of the state, and includes: Adams, Athens, Brown, Fayette, Jackson, Meigs, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, and Washington Counties. Prior to the start of this program, all of the participating counties, except for Athens, did not have a county public defender and used appointed counsel exclusively. Because of rising caseloads and the economic conditions in this area of the state, the appointed counsel system was not efficient.

Under this program, the participating counties have entered into contracts with the Ohio Public Defender to provide indigent defense services. The Ohio Public Defender in turn contracts with local private attorneys or law firms in the region who provide the indigent defense service.

The Multi-County Program has three offices located in Athens, Ross, and Washington Counties. These offices provide indigent defense services to these counties and offer support services to all participating counties.

Attorney Herman Carson, directs the program and works out of the Athens Branch Office. Attorneys Susan Pettit and Raymond Smith manage the Ross and Washington Branch Offices, respectively.

Athens County Branch Staff
Herman Carson Director
Douglas Francis Supervising Attorney
David Baer Assistant State Public Defender
John Cornely Assistant State Public Defender
Justin Townley Assistant State Public Defender
Paul Trinh Assistant State Public Defender
Jamie Northup Social Worker Assistant
Tara Sayre Program Administrator
Casey Noll Administrative Professional
Shawna Richard Administrative Professional
Jennifer Slack Office Assistant

Ross County Branch Staff

Susan Pettit Director
Chase Carter Assistant State Public Defender
Jessica McDonald Assistant State Public Defender
Ben Rainsberger Assistant State Public Defender
James Szorady Assistant State Public Defender
Joseph Weckbacher Assistant State Public Defender
Terry Hollis Program Administrator
April Amyx Office Assistant
Debra James Administrative Professional
Teri Knedler Administrative Professional

Washington County Branch Staff

Raymond Smith Director
Randall Jedlink Assistant State Public Defender
Shawna Landaker Assistant State Public Defender
Brenda Engle Program Administrator
Jana Crock Administrative Professional
Connie Ruble Receptionist

Trumbull County Branch Office

The Ohio Public Defender has maintained and operated a branch office in Trumbull County since 1984, in order to provide indigent criminal defense representation throughout the courts of Trumbull County. 

The branch office is located in Warren, Ohio. In addition to the staff and attorneys at the branch office, the Ohio Public Defender contracts with approximately 15 local attorneys to provide indigent criminal defense representation. Cases handled by staff and contract attorneys range from misdemeanors to capital offenses, and includes juvenile cases and appeals. Attorneys also provide representation in the 11th District Court of Appeals for the cases handled by the branch office in the lower courts, or for defendants who can no longer afford representation at the appellate level. 

A Drug Court Program was recently implemented by the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, and received assistance from the branch office. Although the program has only been in existence a short time, the anticipated rehabilitative benefits for defendants have been evident.

Attorney Matthew Pentz directs the Trumbull County Branch Office.

Trumbull County Branch Staff

Matthew Pentz Director
David Rouzzo Assistant State Public Defender
Morris Hill Investigator
Scott Dixon Investigator
Rachael Riddle Paralegal
Kim McCall Program Administrator
Keith Montgomery Administrative Assistant
Victoria Gouvas Office Assistant

Scale and books

Athens County Public Defender
5 North Court Street, 2nd Fl.
Athens, Ohio  45701
Phone: 740-593-6400
Toll free: 1-800-383-0533
Fax: 740-594-2074

Ross County Public Defender
14 S. Paint Street - Suite 54
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
Phone: 740-772-4772
Toll free: 1-800-618-6548
Fax: 740-772-4825

Washington County Public Defender
Wesbanco Building
200 Putnam Street - Suite 200
Marietta, Ohio  45750
Phone: 740-373-1441
Toll free: 1-800-618-6549
Fax: 740-373-2133

Trumbull County Public Defender
112 East Market Street
Warren, Ohio 44481
Phone: 234-220-6990
Toll free: 1-800-865-9504
Fax: 330-393-7076

"The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."

Martin Luther King Jr.

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