Assisting the county prosecutor

Administrative Assistant Debbie Anthony has been helping the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office put felons behind bars for eight-and-a-half years. In her position, Anthony journals court hearings, subpoenas witnesses and helps with countywide civil suits.

“We never know what we’re going to do from one minute to the next. It’s never dull,” she said.

As a paralegal, she is also able to take on tasks such as legal research and therefore help the attorneys build their cases.

Question: Tell me a bit about your background. What did you do before taking on a job at the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office?

Answer: I used to do hair. I was a hairdresser. I also used to work in a factory in Nelsonville making seats for Honda. I actually went back to school in Nelsonville after the factory closed down to get my degree as a paralegal.

Q: How did you get started at the Prosecutor’s Office?

A: When I was getting my paralegal degree, I actually did an internship here and they decided to keep me.

Q: What are some of your duties?

A: I do a lot of journal entries for sentencings and pleas and arraignments. Everything that happens in court, there has to be a record of it. I also help people get to their destination once they’ve been sentenced. I set up transport papers and set up the paperwork for whatever correctional facility they may be going. I write up subpoenas, governor’s warrants, and a variety of other things. I do a lot of typing all day.

Q: How does your paralegal degree help with all of that?

A: Paralegals do a lot of researching, documentation, a lot of stuff that attorneys would do that you can do for them to make their job a lot easier. I research the laws, past cases, anything that has to do with cases we may handle.

Q: The county Prosecutor’s Office does more than try criminal cases, right? What are some things people might not realize you all handle?

A: Well, we do the criminal cases and we do juvenile cases, too. We handle the pleas and sentencing. But we also handle all the civil matters that have to do with the county treasurer, the county auditor, really any county office. A lot of people don’t realize we handle all these civil cases as well. For example, we handle a lot of delinquent tax sales for people that are no longer paying their taxes. That kind of stuff brings in a lot of money for the county and for the schools.

Q: You also have contact with victims in criminal cases, right?

A: We have a victim’s advocate and we also see them in the office whenever they come in. You just have to treat everyone with a sense of understanding. Some of them are victims of burglary, some of a sexual offense, and whenever they come in you want to be respectful of what they’ve been through.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: The justice of it -when we sentence someone who has done something wrong. It might be a burglar or some sexually-oriented offender, and we send them away to prison.

And I like all of my co-workers.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not working?

A: I like to spend time with my son Jake, go four-wheel riding, go shopping. I like to spend time with my family, my mom and my sister. And I like to go on vacations. I like going to Myrtle Beach.

Jasmine Rogers conducted the interview.