Wednesday, March 07, 2001

Prosecutor closes in Middletown

City department moves into site

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MIDDLETOWN — The seldom-used Middletown satellite of the Butler County Prosecutor's Office has been closed and its space at One City CentrePlaza will be used for the city law department, officials said Tuesday.

        Personnel in neighboring offices “indicated our secretary in that satellite office often had very little to do — and often had nobody come into the office for days,” Joe Statzer, administrative director for Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper, said Tuesday.

        Closing the office, which had been in operation since late 1995, will save the county government about $7,000 a year in rent and utilities, Mr. Statzer estimated.

        “In the grand scale of things, it's not a tremendous amount of money. But to the taxpayers, every dime means something,” he said.

        A secretarial position, which pays about $24,000 a year, has been shifted to the prosecutor's Hamilton headquarters at the Government Services Center.

        “We're getting much more production out of that position at the headquarters than somebody manning an office that was virtually never used,” Mr. Statzer said.

        Investigator Jerry Chapman, who lives in Middletown, has been assigned to regularly check in with the city's police and law departments, Mr. Statzer said. City police have agreed to provide conference rooms as needed, at no cost.

        “This is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Mr. Piper said. “The law department obtains the additional space they need, taxpayers receive more responsible fiscal government and the partnership between the Middletown Police Department and the (county) prosecutor's office is further strengthened.”

        Enquirer reporter Earnest Winston contributed to this story.


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