Multiple Warren County officials announce their opposition to Issue 1


Warren County elected officials declared their opposition to Issue 1, citing what they believe would be the negative effects from their various positions.

Issue 1 is a proposed constitutional amendment on November election ballots that would change sentencing guidelines for some drug crimes and affect other aspects of those crimes.

Recorder Linda Oda, Treasurer Barney Wright, Prosecutor David Fornshell, Auditor Matt Nolan, Judges Donald Oda II and Timothy Tepe and Clerk of Courts Jim Spaeth gathered on Thursday morning in Oda’s courtroom to announce their opposition.

MORE: What they’re saying about State Issue 1

“We all come from different backgrounds and different perspectives,” Donald Oda said.”This touches our offices and homes in different ways.”

Issue 1 would:

• Convert felony 4 and felony 5 drug possession and drug use crimes to misdemeanors with no jail time for first and second offenses committed within a 24-month period

• Keep drug trafficking crimes as felonies

• Prohibit judges from sending people to prison if they violate probation with something other than a new crime, such as missing an appointment

MORE: What is Issue 1 on the Ohio ballot this fall?

• Cut prison time for offenders who complete rehabilitation programs, except those convicted of murder, rape or child molestation

• Put money saved by fewer people going to prison into drug treatment and crime victim programs

• Allow people convicted of certain drug crimes to petition the court for re-sentencing or release or to have the charge changed.

The officials indicating their opposition are all Republicans. None face a challenge in the November election.

Nolan predicted higher costs for government and taxpayers if Issue 1 passes.

MORE: Voter’s Guide on Issue 1

“As a mom and a grandma, I’m telling you this is bad for our kids,” Linda Oda said.

Those from a law enforcement perspective warned they would lose “the hammer” of potential jail time or other punishment to ensure defendants pursue treatment.

In cases where, rather than getting treatment, defendants return to drug use and overdose, “My belief is more people are going to die,” Fornshell said.

MORE: Ohio governor candidates clash over Issue 1

Early voting began on Wednesday.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Cutting through the hype: What Issue 1 would mean in Ohio
Cutting through the hype: What Issue 1 would mean in Ohio

State Issue 1 has become so divisive it has split some otherwise like-minded groups. Recovering drug addicts are speaking out for both the Yes and No campaigns. Law enforcement groups like the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association have come out against it, while former narcotics officers are campaigning for a yes vote. Sitting judges, too, are on opposite...
Springboro to add 6 new police officers over next 2 years
Springboro to add 6 new police officers over next 2 years

By the end of 2020, six new police officers should be patrolling Springboro. On Thursday night, Springboro City Council supported the staffing increases called for by Police Chief Jeff Kruithoff and expected to add about $400,000 to the city budget in 2020. “These are all things we can afford,” City Manager Chris Pozzuto said during a presentation...
Attorney says she talked to woman who made claim against Sherrod Brown 
Attorney says she talked to woman who made claim against Sherrod Brown 

A Canton attorney says she has talked to a woman who alleges U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, “roughly” pushed her against a wall while making a sexual advance after he was divorced in the late 1980s. The attorney, Laura Mills, is a managing partner in the Canton law firm Mills, Mills, Fiely & Lucas.   Mills would not identify...
Warren County jail costs increase as project moves forward
Warren County jail costs increase as project moves forward

Warren County commissioners rejected the idea of building a roundabout at a key intersection in the government complex in Lebanon, but otherwise sent consultants back to work on final drawings for a new county jail and sheriff’s office. “It’s been more than 15 years coming,” Commissioner Dave Young said after the meeting. During...
8th Congressional District debate at Miami-Hamilton this week: How to go
8th Congressional District debate at Miami-Hamilton this week: How to go

Miami University Regionals and the Journal-News will host the 8th Congressional District debate this week in Hamilton. The representative to the 8th Congressional District will represent all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami and Preble counties, and the southernmost portion of Mercer County.  Here’s what you need to know if you go: Miami University...
More Stories