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Published: Saturday, 3/31/2012

2nd assistant prosecutor is placed on leave

BLADE STAFF

FINDLAY -- For the second time this month, Hancock County Prosecutor Mark Miller has placed one of his assistant prosecutors on leave.

Drew Wortman, 37, of Findlay was charged Thursday with assault, a first-degree misdemeanor, in Findlay Municipal Court for a Jan. 30 incident in which he was accused of assaulting a woman with whom he had been living. Mr. Wortman's attorney entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf the same day.

Mr. Miller issued a statement Friday saying that while Mr. Wortman is presumed innocent until proven guilty, he has placed him on paid administrative leave.

"Initially I allowed Mr. Wortman to deal with his situation as a private matter as most personal issues should [be]," Mr. Miller said. "However, what was formerly a private matter has become public, and I must make certain victims and the public have confidence in the prosecutor's office. While Mr. Wortman is presumed innocent, this office also fundamentally stands for victims."

A special prosecutor, Kenton City Prosecutor Jason Miller has been appointed to Mr. Wortman's case.

Mr. Miller said it is paramount to him that crime victims have confidence that his office is handling their cases appropriately.

"While I believe Mr. Wortman would not allow his personal situation to conflict with his professional judgment, I will not allow a negative perception of the prosecutor's office to cause a victim to have less than full faith in the justice system," he said.

Just last week, Mr. Miller suspended Daniel "K.C." Collette for two weeks without pay after learning that Mr. Collette had failed to disclose that he was twice convicted of soliciting a prostitute while working in Florida in the 1990s.

The information came to light after Mr. Collette, 66, who also is a Findlay city councilman, applied for a job in Florida, and the job offer was rescinded when officials learned of the convictions.

Mr. Collette and Mr. Wortman are two of five assistant prosecutors on Mr. Miller's staff.



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