Friday, May 18, 2012

Prosecutors No Longer reports

Drew Wortman, an assistant prosecutor facing an assault charge, has been fired. Another assistant prosecutor, K.C. Collette, will leave in July, Hancock County [Ohio] Prosecutor Mark Miller announced Wednesday.

The firing of Wortman follows an assault allegation by an ex-girlfriend, and additional worries that "he can no longer be effective" at the prosecutor's office, Miller said.

"This is the result of not only his domestic issue but several other concerns that have only recently been brought to my attention," Miller said.

He declined further comment Wednesday.

Wortman had an April 30 pretrial hearing in Findlay Municipal Court, and it became clear his criminal case would be prolonged, Miller said. Wortman was told he could no longer be on paid leave, and would be fired, Miller said.

Since the hearing, Wortman has been using accrued vacation time, Miller said.

Wortman pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor assault charge and is scheduled for a June 7 jury trial. An ex-girlfriend alleges Wortman slammed her head against the wall and bit her upper lip on Jan. 30.

Separately, Assistant Prosecutor Collette will leave by July 13, Miller said.

Before he joined the prosecutor's office, Collette was twice arrested on charges of soliciting prostitutes in Florida in the 1990s.

Collette did not properly disclose the arrests when hired by then-Prosecutor Robert Fry in 1996, Miller said.

After the arrests were publicized this year, Collette was suspended in March for two weeks without pay.

Since returning to the prosecutor's office last month, Collette has been "actively seeking other employment and endeavoring to finalize his retirement plans," Miller said.

The July deadline was set so Collette, who is also a Findlay councilman, could secure health insurance for his family through future employment or retirement, Miller said.

Miller said he has begun looking for new assistant prosecutors, and may hire an additional prosecutor if the budget allows. The number of prosecutors in the office is the same as it was in 1994, Miller said.

The office will continue supporting residents with "hard work, dignity and high moral character," he said.

The article is linked to the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court. (Mike Frisch)

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