Sunday, April 6, 2003

Ohio Moments


Stanbery first state attorney general

On April 6, 1846, Whig attorney Henry Stanbery - Ohio's first attorney general - opened his office in Columbus. Although the government of the Northwest Territory included an attorney general, Ohio's original constitution did not create the office. Instead, the Supreme Court appointed a prosecuting attorney for each county who handled the state's business.

The legislature established the office in February 1846. That person would be elected by the General Assembly and commissioned by the governor for a five-year term.

Stanbery created a case-tracking system and a uniform crime report format for the county prosecutors. He delivered his first report to the General Assembly in December 1847. He reported that he had collected $3,051.07 owed to the state, and had spent most of his time providing legal opinions to state officials and county prosecutors.

In 1849, the legislature made the position a statewide elective office, beginning with the end of Stanbery's term.

- Rebecca Goodman

E-mail rgoodman@enquirer.com or call (513) 768-8361.




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