The Hamilton County Republican Party’s central committee met late Thursday afternoon at Clovernook Country Club in North College Hill to choose Joe Deters‘ successor after his appointment to the Ohio Supreme Court. Powers, who did not seek re-election to the juvenile court bench last year, received a resounding majority of the vote.
Former county treasurer and Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Goehring submitted an application for the position after Deters left office, but he withdrew it well in advance of Thursday’s central committee meeting.
Powers worked as an assistant prosecutor in Deters’ office before becoming a judge. Deters made it clear that Powers was his personal pick to take Deters’ position when he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the court.
Powers started her career as a prosecutor. She also practiced defense law and spent 16 years as a judge in both municipal and juvenile courts.
As a prosecutor, Powers gained notoriety in 1997 for getting serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin to confess in a jailhouse to killing cousins Dante Evans Brown and Darrell Lane in Bond Hill in 1980.
“Evil does exist in this world. I will never forget the victims whose cases remain unsolved. I will prosecute the most violent criminals, along with the predators that hurt children to the fullest extent. We will get them off the streets and we will put them behind bars,” Powers said.
She will fill out the term of Deters. Powers will need to run for office in 2024 if she intends to continue serving as prosecutor after the next two years. She stated she will do that on Thursday.
Powers, like Deters, pledges public safety while pursuing criminals.
“The Prosecutor’s Office under my leadership will continue to pursue justice within the bounds of the law and keep neighborhoods safe,” she said. “It’s just as important to protect the innocent as it is to convict the guilty,” Powers said.
She will be sworn in on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. in Judge Megan Shanahan‘s courtroom.
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Melissa Powers” by Hamilton County Juvenile Court. Background Photo “Hamilton County Courthouse” by Nyttend.