Coil named new Washington County prosecutor

Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Coil has been selected to fill the remainder of the county prosecutor term, following the criminal conviction and resignation of former prosecutor Kevin Rings.

Coil was selected as interim prosecutor Saturday by the Washington County Republican Central Committee to fulfill the remainder of the term, through Jan. 3, 2021. Rings is currently serving a 60-day jail sentence for coercion.

Coil has already been filling in as prosecutor, chosen by county commissioners in May to take on the role until the central committee made a decision.

She received 19 of the 37 votes Saturday, followed by Jeremy Wolfe, former Washington County assistant prosecutor and current Wood County assistant prosecutor, who took 16 votes and Daniel Everson, assistant Marietta city law director, who took one and Amy Graham-Bean, assistant Washington County prosecutor, who took the final vote.

“I’m very thankful for all of the support this office has received and know there are many rooting for us to succeed as we implement the changes earnestly needed,” said Coil on Monday. “We’re committed to changing the image of the office and restoring the trust it had previously.”

On Saturday, all four candidates fielded questions of the committee ranging from the political resources each candidate had at their disposal, to their plans if selected.

“Since I’m chairman of the political arm of this party I’m wondering if you are prepared for the political role of this, are you prepared to ask for votes and ask for money,” Mike Webber asked all four candidates.

Coil explained her roles both in service organizations across the community and as board member of the Memorial Health Foundation in response, stating if she could prove to voters that the office could be believed in again under her leadership she could ask for their votes.

But other questions surrounded plans for addressing a backlog of cases.

” (Retired Washington County Prosecutor) Attorney Jim Schneider has agreed to help during this transition period and Jim and I are jointly deciding how the cases are being assigned,” said Coil Monday, noting the former prosecutor had no plans to remain on staff long-term and currently works part-time.

She also plans to adjust the grand jury schedule with Washington County Common Pleas Judge Mark Kerenyi to expedite cases through the system, hoping to implement twice-per-month meetings of the body instead of the current once-per-month schedule.

“And I filed a delinquent tax lawsuit on April 2,” she noted, explaining 36 individual complaints comprise the suit, including blighted properties within Marietta city limits. “I have worked with Mr. (Wayne) Rinehart and Councilman Geoff Schenkel with the city on what properties they would like to see handled and will be coordinating with the county treasurer as we work more to deal with delinquent leins.”

Coil said she intends to file to run in the next election.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said Monday he looks forward to working with Coil, though he previously endorsed Wolfe.

“She’ll do one hell of a job,” he said.