Law Director Services
The Law Director is responsible for prosecuting all adult misdemeanors in the City of Lancaster, the City of Pickerington, the City of Reynoldsburg (the Fairfield County portion) and the unincorporated areas of Fairfield County. This includes traffic, criminal, and code violations and comprises approximately 80% of the business the office conducts.
Legal Advisor for all City Boards, Commissions, Departments and Elected Officials
The Law Director provides legal counsel regarding City business to all City boards, commissions, departments and elected officials. This includes drafting legislation for City Council, negotiating labor contracts, and providing around the clock legal advice to the Lancaster Police Department.
Civil Claim Investigation
Civil claims are now investigated and considered by the Law Director’s Office with limited referral to our insurance carrier. This saves the City of Lancaster at least $20,000 per year. This service requires a significant time investment, so it can only be done with adequate staffing. It has resulted in the return of more than $100,000 to the General Fund.
Down Payment Recovery
The Law Director has assisted the coordination of the Community Development Program and assists in recovery of down payments through foreclosures and bankruptcy procedures. In the current economic situation, foreclosures being filed have increased work for our office.
Collections on Damage to City Property
This Law Director’s Office conducts collection proceedings for City departments when City property has been damaged (i.e. fire hydrants, street signs, electrical poles). In 2014, our office recovered or attempted to recover more than $51,703.67 in taxpayer money. Since 1998, this office has worked to save the City approximately $319,300.18.
Income Tax Collections
The Law Director sends out correspondence on income tax delinquency cases where individuals fail to file income tax returns or pay taxes owed. These preliminary collections have netted more than $100,000 since 2005. If additional collection efforts are required, those cases are referred to an outside collection agency at no cost to the City of Lancaster.
Legal Work for City Schools
A new area of responsibility for the Law Director is the Lancaster City Schools. Due to budgetary restraints, the School Board has requested legal assistance as authorized by the Ohio Revised Code. The Law Director's Office has worked with the schools on real estate issues, administration of the Student Guardian Program, and application for additional funds from Safe Routes to Schools.
Zoning & Code Enforcement Work for Additional Villages
The Law Director’s office is mandated by the ORC to handle zoning and code enforcement prosecution for townships and villages in Fairfield County. This activity has increased recently as more villages and townships adopt property maintenance and zoning codes.
The Law Director's Office assists the Lancaster City Schools and multiple departments with grant writing and grant administration. VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) monies help fund one specialized Family Violence Unit Prosecutor to provide a comprehensive approach to supporting victims and holding offenders accountable.