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MILLERSBURG -- While the name on the letterhead may change, the face of the office will remain largely the same, according to Sean Warner, who was sworn in Friday as Holmes County Prosecutor.
Warner was elected to fill the seat of Steve Knowling, who did not seek reelection, but will remain with the office as a part-time assistant.
Knowling, who hired Warner as his own assistant nearly seven years ago, said, "I'm totally confident he will do a great job and represent Holmes County well. He has a great legal background, he is invested in the community and, most importantly, he has good judgment. Holmes County will be in good hands with the new prosecutor."
Surrounded by friends and family, Warner was sworn in by Holmes County Juvenile/Probate Judge Thomas Lee, who said that watching Warner deal with a variety of tough situations in juvenile court, it is evident Warner has been focused on finding solutions that are in the best interest of the juveniles involved.
"He, no doubt, will be a great prosecuting attorney," said Lee.
Warner said he will continue to handle the juvenile cases for the office, in addition to managing the office and tending to the county's civil matters and serving as legal counsel for county and township entities.
Knowling and Assistant Prosecutor Chris Oehl will continue to handle the bulk of the office's felony work, and new full-time assistant Matthew Muzic is likely to focus on municipal court activities. Muzic, who had opened a law office in Loudonville for a short time at the end of 2016, replaces Christine Williams, who completed her part-time service to the office last week.
Warner said he became acquainted with Muzic through newly appointed Holmes County Municipal Judge Andy Hyde, who briefly shared a private practice office with Muzic.
"He expressed the interest and desire to do this type of work. He wants to be in the courtroom," said Warner of Muzic.
In retaining the services of Knowling and Oehl, both well-experienced and proven litigators, Warner said, the office will continue to benefit from a broad base of knowledge.
Moving into the future, Warner said, he hopes to implement changes to improve the efficiency and workflow within the office. This, he said, includes promotion of Sheri Smith to office coordinator and development of a system to better track activity -- civil and criminal -- within the office.
He said he also intends to maintain a good relationship with law enforcement, to best provide safety and security to the public.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.