The Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association has named Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien as “Ohio’s Outstanding Prosecuting Attorney for 2016.”
Officials from the OPAA report the award is presented annually to the Ohio Prosecutor who best demonstrates a commitment to justice, professionalism, and the OPAA mission to pursue truth and justice and to promote public safety.
Prosecutor O’Brien was honored last week during the association’s annual meeting in Columbus.
“It is an honor to be recognized by my peers,” O’Brien said. “So many of my fellow prosecutors work hard and are passionate about what they do, it’s just a wonderful surprise to be chosen for this distinction.”
Founded in 1937, the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association is a private non-profit organization that supports the state’s 88 elected county prosecutors. Prosecutor O’Brien served as the organization Treasurer in 2016 and will be the Vice President in 2017. She was appointed as the Delaware County Prosecutor in 2011 and was recently re-elected to her second full term as County Prosecutor in November. Her office is responsible for felony prosecutions and the civil representation of county and township officials. O’Brien will become the OPAA President in 2019.
“I’m proud to serve my community,” O’Brien said. “I share this Ohio Prosecutor of the Year honor with all the victims who have trusted me and worked with me to get justice throughout the years.”
Prosecutor O’Brien has more than 35 years trial experience. She is a 2014 Model of Justice Award recipient, another statewide recognition through the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center. That recognition specified a case where Prosecutor O’Brien fought to convict a man who raped his daughter and fled to Germany (a case that took 20 years to bring full circle). Another notable case came in 2015 and 2016 when O’Brien took Matthew Rausenberg, a local teacher, to trial for sexually abusing his students. That case resulted in a 106-year prison sentence.
Recently, O’Brien served as a special prosecutor against former Sandusky County Sheriff, Kyle Overmyer. O’Brien’s prosecution resulted in a four-year prison sentence for charges of theft in office, deception to obtain drugs, tampering with records and more.
O’Brien said she doesn’t plan to change any behavior at her office because of the award.
“I don’t think it should effect how I move forward,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien added that she shares the award with the staff at the prosecutors office. “You can’t run the office without the people in it. I can’t do this all by myself.”
Information for this story was provided by the OPAA.