Former Clark County prosecutor nominated to lead Ohio Department of Public Safety

A former Clark County prosecutor will be nominated by Gov. Mike DeWine as the next director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Andy Wilson, who served as the Clark County prosecuting attorney from 2011 to 2019, currently serves as the governor’s senior advisor for criminal justice policy, according to a governor’s office release.

“Andy Wilson has been an invaluable asset to Ohio prosecutors and law enforcement throughout his distinguished career in public service,” said DeWine in a release. “Andy has been a trusted advisor on criminal justice issues, and I look forward to him serving as director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.”

Pending confirmation by the Ohio Senate, Wilson will succeed Tom Stickrath, who is retiring at the end of the year, according to the release.

Wilson began his career as an assistant prosecutor in Clark County in 2002, specializing in prosecuting individuals who committed sex crimes and violence against children.

In January 2011, Wilson was appointed to serve as the Clark County prosecutor and was later elected to that position for two subsequent terms, the release said.

Since January of 2019, Wilson has served as DeWine’s senior advisor for criminal justice policy. Among the areas Wilson has led are violent crime reduction initiatives, first responder wellness and resiliency initiatives, and law enforcement training and professional development initiatives, according to the release.

In this role, he has served as a co-chair of the governor’s warrant task force, helped to develop the governor’s Expedited Pardon Project, and worked closely with the Ohio Department of Public Safety on various projects including the launch of the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center (ONIC) and the Ohio School Safety Center.

He has also served as DeWine’s representative to the Ohio Sentencing Commission and the Ohio Supreme Court’s Task Force on Conviction Integrity, according to the release.

In 2020, Governor DeWine assigned Wilson to assist the Pike County Prosecutor’s Office in prosecuting four individuals accused of murdering eight members of the Rhoden, Manley and Gilley families in 2016. In addition to helping to secure guilty pleas from two of the suspects in the case, Wilson was also involved in the months-long trial and ultimate conviction of George Wagner IV for his role in the murders.

Wilson is an associate instructor for the National Criminal Justice Training Center, where he teaches courses on the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases at training seminars across the country, according to the release.

Wilson has an undergraduate degree in political science from Wright State University and a law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. Wilson is a veteran of the Ohio National Guard, serving as an armor officer. He lives in Springfield with his wife and two daughters, the release said.

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