Friday, July 27, 2001

Task force to get 2nd prosecutor

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen expects to appoint a second prosecutor today to the Cincinnati Police Division's Violent Crimes Task Force.

        “Something had to be done. The formation of this task force is an appropriate response to the unprecedented violence we've experienced,” he said Thursday.

Mike Allen
Mike Allen
        Already in place is assistant prosecutor Seth Tieger, who headed the prosecutor's task force to try those charged with felonies during the April riots.

        As they did in the riot cases, prosecutors plan to seek maximum penalties against those convicted as part of this initiative.

        Plea bargains will be scarce and judges have been asked to expedite these cases, as they did the riot-related arrests.

        Considered integral parts of the 70-member task force, the prosecutors are expected to act primarily as advisers, providing any legal opinions police officers need with regard to charges or searches and seizures.

        High on Mr. Allen's agenda is finding out whether anyone arrested has been involved in intimidating witnesses, a problem authorities say has held up investigations into the recent spate of shootings, as well as investigations into riot-related offenses.

        “Obviously, we'd like to prosecute them for principal offenses, but we're willing to get them on whatever will take them off the streets and put them behind bars,” he said. “People in Over-the-Rhine and other areas are fed up and have started working with the police ... in the hopes of prosecuting some of these cases. The only thing I can do is to assure these people that we will do everything in our power to keep them safe.”


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