POMEROY —Growing up near Cincinnati in Hamilton County, current Meigs County Prosecutor Colleen Williams spent her time during law school interning for the Hamilton County Public Defenders office, which handeled the Municipal Court.
Her first job came in 1996 with Child Support Enforcement as part of the Preble County prosecutors office. She later accepted a position in Athens County before eventually moving to Meigs County and becoming Meigs prosecutor in 2009.
Now in her second term, her decision to run for a third on the Republican ticket came easily.
“I knew I wanted to be a county prosecutor, and Feb. 14 will be the anniversary of my 20th year working in the office. I’ve spent my entire career working in county prosecutors offices in rural areas of Ohio,” Williams said.
Being a prosecutor in these areas has challenges, and Williams believes the most pressing of those are the high volume of cases relative to the population. She said her office is challenged by the drug situation and working hard to combat it. She has attended forums by the Ohio Attorney General on dealing with such issues.
“We have to balance the lack of employment and opportunities with making certain justice is served. Our office tries to encourage educational backgrounds for Meigs residences; we like to be proactive, but the nature of the job is more reactive, usually the crime has been committed before we become involved.”
Meigs has seen a recent increase in felony indictments, for which Williams gives several reasons, not the least of which is her experience prosecuting felony cases since 1997. Another is the establishment of a drug task force, something she had experience working with in Athens.
“I attribute the increase to the drug task force we have developed in the area,” she said. “I worked with the county commissioners and the sheriff’s office to begin a drug task force. Since that time, we now have a multi-jurisdiction Meigs-Gallia Major Crimes Task Force, and I have worked alongside the task force since its inception in Meigs County in January 2009.”
Although she grew up near Cincinnati, Williams has roots in Meigs; her husband is originally from the area and upon his retirement from the Athens Police Department, they decided to move back and raise their family. Together they have two children, four stepchildren, four step-in-laws and 11 stepgrandchildren.
Williams said she enjoys being a productive member of the community and participates in many aspects of community life. With two children in school, she is active in their events and volunteers at the county fair. Williams supports senior citizen causes and animal shelters, adopting two shelter dogs, and two from Habitat for Humanity.
“I have never forgotten the people who elected me to serve as their prosecutor, and one way to do that is to make sure you are giving back to the community.”
The county prosecutor’s office handles felony cases for the county, and in Meigs, also handles the municipal court. Williams is being challenged by Republican candidate James Stanley for the nomination.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551.