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Will finances affect prosecutor's hiring?



Published: Thu, October 19, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



LISBON -- Columbiana County's funding problems may affect the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Prosecutor Robert Herron said Wednesday that he will wait to see the outcome of the county sales tax and state elections.

Herron wants to appoint a special prosecutor in an investigation of spending at the county health department. There's a legal conflict because he and his office represent the health department.

State Auditor Betty Montgomery, whose office has been conducting the probe, recently told Herron it could not provide a special prosecutor for the county.

Montgomery is running for attorney general, and thought that her replacement might not rehire or replace any special prosecutor on her staff.

Herron said he would wait to see the outcome of the tax. Herron said his office presently does not have money to hire a special prosecutor.

If the tax fails, Herron said he would approach Montgomery if she wins her race, or the new attorney general or state auditor, for help.

Spokesmen for the attorney general's office and state auditor's offices said that neither agency provides funding to hire special prosecutors. However, both offices can and have appointed special prosecutors.




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