Monroe Prosecutor honored for community service

Guernsey County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge David B. Bennett congratulates Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney James L. Peters on receiving the Community Service Award from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. Photo Provided

BYESVILLE – The Ohio State Bar Association recognized Monroe County Prosecutor James L. Peters on Thursday for his outstanding service to the community.

Peters received the Community Service Award at the OSBA District 15 annual meeting at the Cambridge Country Club in Byesville. District 15 includes 154 members who practice in the counties of Belmont, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson and Monroe.

“James Peters is the only one receiving this particular award in this district, so it is a big deal,” said OSBA spokeswoman Maggie Ostrowski.

The Community Service Award is given to attorneys 40 years of age or younger who “contributes substantial time and effort in service to a local social service, or local civic, artistic or cultural organization.” The service must be something other than the practice of law, and must be done without compensation. The recipient of the award must represent the “ideals of the legal profession and, by example, be a credit to the profession.”

The award is presented to honorees in each OSBA district, and the statewide Community Service Award recipient will be chosen from the district honorees.

Peters first began his law career by practicing with his father in Woodsfield before being appointed and then elected as Monroe County prosecutor.

“It is my opinion that there could not have been a better choice to recognize than Prosecutor James Peters. James is a fine professional young man that doesn’t need to be convinced to give back to his community,” said Monroe County Commissioner Mick Schumacher. “It comes naturally to him. He is a great example to both our adults and young people as well.”

Peters said he was recognized for a “combination of things,” including pro bono work, donating to local charities and membership in community organizations. He holds membership in the Monroe County Masonic Lodge 189, the Monroe County Democratic Central Executive Committee, the Monroe County Law library Association, the Monroe County Bar Association and the OSBA. He also volunteers his time supporting individuals with disabilities and working on behalf of St. Sylvester Central School in Woodsfield.

“It was kind of a surprise when I was nominated for this award because being a prosecutor is often a thankless job. It is nice to be recognized,” Peters said. “This award was supposed to be for service outside of the legal profession, but I believe that I can be of best service to people by doing the job I’ve been given by the public.”

The Community Service Award was given by the Ohio State Bar Foundation, which is the nonprofit, charitable arm of the OSBA. The foundation is a “grantmaking organization that works to advance the law and build a better justice system. We believe our democracy works better when people understand the law and have fair and equal access to justice,” said Julia Wyche, grants and communications specialist for the OSBF.

“Although we are not immune to big city crimes and to the pervasive spread of drugs into our community, my job is to address these issues and to find the ways and means to do what is right for all of us,” Peters added. “Sometimes the right choice is the difficult one, but is also the one that ensures a success story in the end.”