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Published: Wednesday, 8/21/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Sylvania Township contracts with county prosecutor's office for legal services

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office will continue to act as Sylvania Township’s law director for the next two years.

The township Board of Trustees voted this week 2-1 to approve a renewed contract with the county prosecutor, as suggested by township Administrator John Zeitler. Chairman John Jennewine and Trustee Neal Mahoney voted in favor, Trustee Kevin Haddad voted no.

The two-year agreement, beginning Oct. 1, states the prosecutor’s office will provide legal services to the township for $95,000 per year.

The prosecutor’s office has been acting as the township’s law director since 2010. The cost last year was $90,000.

Mr. Zeitler said their services will be needed for upcoming labor negotiations with the union. In the past, the prosecutors have assisted with civil and other lawsuits, he said.

Mr. Haddad opposed the contract because he said the prosecutors have a heavy workload and until they receive an internal raise he would not vote to approve the contract. He suggested after the meeting that the township could have contracted with a private law firm after getting bids on the work.

Mr. Jennewine responded the township was not in a position to dictate salary rates for county employees. He said Mr. Haddad opposed to giving raises for non-union township employees. Although Mr. Haddad voted yes for the resolution, before the vote he made it clear he objected to giving raises due to the economy at that time

Township Fiscal Officer David Simko said the prosecutor’s office has saved the township more than $200,000 in legal fees annually, and does not charge by the minute, unlike previous private firms used in the past.

The township spent $329,885 in 2009 and $340,821 in 2008 in legal fees prior to contracting with the prosecutor’s office, Mr. Zeitler said.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com



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