Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Piper outlines plans

Prosecutor-elect set to take reins

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Robin Piper, who will be sworn in as Butler County prosecutor this week, has unveiled some of his plans for the office.

        They include:

        • Closing the prosecutor's office in West Chester Township that outgoing Prosecutor Dan Gattermeyer had opened this year.

        “I don't think the money is there for the West Chester office,” Mr. Piper said at a hearing Monday before the county commissioners about his 2001 budget. “I can provide all the services the West Chester police and residents need without the office.”

        • Appointing Hamilton attorney Roger Gates as the chief of the civil division. He replaces Vickie Daiker, who did not ask to remain with the prosecutor's office, Mr. Piper said. She is the wife of Don Daiker, who resigned last week as chairman of the Butler County Democratic Party.

        • Adding an attorney to the office's appellate division. He said Assistant Prosecutor Dan Eichel, who chiefly handles appeals, has been doing the work of “three or four people” for the past few years.

        • Appointing Joe Statzer, political director of the Butler County Republican Party, as the administrative director. Mr. Statzer will run the office.

        • Using computers more extensively in day-to-day operations to increase efficiency.

        • Continue to operate the child assault task force, which handles all felony child abuse cases.

        • Beefing up the juvenile division. Mr. Piper said the juvenile caseload is too large for the number of assistant prosecutors in that division.

        Mr. Piper, a Republican, defeated Mr. Gattermeyer, a Democrat, in a bitter race this year. Mr. Gattermeyer became prosecutor after longtime Prosecutor John F. Holcomb died in July.

        Mr. Piper said he won't know for three to four months how much money he'll need to operate the prosecutor's office in 2001.

        At first, he'll work with a $3.2 million budget that includes a 3 percent salary increase for personnel.

        That's $500,000 below this year's prosecutor's budget. The reduction occurred primarily because the Butler County Child Support Enforcement Agency is hiring its own attorneys to handle child-support collection.


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