Joseph F. Shaffer, Prosecuting Attorney

Term: 4 Years
Residence: State
Must be admitted to practice law by the date term begins

The prosecuting attorney is the chief legal officer of the county. They have areas of responsibility in both criminal and civil cases. In criminal cases, the prosecuting attorney assists in the investigation of all crimes and other law violations in the county. In civil cases, the prosecuting attorney acts as legal advisor to the County Commission and other elected officials. They may also be called upon to assist the state Attorney General in state legal actions within the county. The prosecuting attorney's office must be kept open during elections and be available to advise election officials or answer questions from the public. Other duties and responsibilities include:

  • The prosecution of all crimes, both misdemeanors and felonies, within the county.
  • Request warrants be issued for persons charged with felonies.
  • Try cases before magistrate and circuit judges.
  • Present information to the Grand Jury for indictment of persons in connection with criminal activity.
  • Represent the Department of Health and Human Resources in child abuse and neglect cases.
  • Represent the State in juvenile delinquency cases.
  • Appoint and supervise assistant prosecuting attorneys.
  • Represent all elected county officials and county agencies.
  • Prepare contracts and other documents for the county.
  • File civil suits for county agencies and defend county agencies in civil actions.
  • Serve as special prosecutors as appointed by the Prosecuting Attorneys Institute.