Biography of Joseph T. Deters

Joe Deters began his career in public service in 1982 as an Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor where he learned first-hand the impact violent crime has on families and neighborhoods. As an assistant prosecutor, Joe dedicated his life to serving and helping communities.

After a notable tenure as a tough prosecutor, Joe was elected to the position of Hamilton County Clerk of Courts in 1988. Joe honed his skills as a manager of a large office while Clerk and gained the respect of other officeholders and the community. In 1992, Joe returned to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office when he was appointed and later that year, elected Prosecuting Attorney. Through his tireless efforts prosecuting tough cases and society’s most violent offenders, Joe garnered a reputation as a no-nonsense advocate for victims of crime and became a key figure in making Hamilton County safer. He was subsequently re-elected in 1996 and continued to vigorously pursue his goal of making Hamilton County a safer place to live.

In 1999, Joe was sworn in as Ohio’s 44th Treasurer of State, where he was responsible for collecting, managing and investing more than $11 billion in assets for the State of Ohio. During his six year tenure, the Ohio Treasurer’s Office received 23 national awards for innovation and technology and earned interest on investments faster than any previous administration.

In the fall of 2004, Joe Deters became a write-in candidate for his former position, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney. He was elected on November 2, 2004 with nearly 60% of the vote. He was subsequently reelected in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

As Hamilton County’s longest serving Prosecuting Attorney (1992-1999 and 2005-present), Joe currently oversees and manages an office of over 180 employees (both criminal and civil divisions), which includes assistant prosecuting attorneys and support staff. The office prosecutes felony and misdemeanor crimes committed by adults and all offenses committed by juveniles. The Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney also serves as the legal counsel for county officials, county agencies, townships and various boards. 

As Hamilton County Prosecutor, Mr. Deters was the driving force behind the following important changes in state law to better protect Ohio citizens:

•          Reduction in time and money to complete capital litigation

•          Creation of a statewide DNA database

•          Repeal of the 15 year cap on maximum prison terms

•          Permit certain juveniles to be incarcerated until age 21

•          Allow judges to consider a defendant’s threat to the community when setting bail

•          Made the purposeful murder of a child under the age of 13 a death penalty eligible case

•          Led the passage of the Daly Bill, which recognizes an unborn child as a person under Ohio’s Criminal Code.

Joe is a lifelong Cincinnatian, where he attended St. Xavier High School. In 1979 Joe graduated from the University of Cincinnati and then the University of Cincinnati College Of Law in 1982. Joe is a member of the Cincinnati Bar Association, National District Attorney’s Association and Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s association. He currently serves on the St. Joseph’s Cemetery Board of Trustees, and previously served on the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees, Ohio Organized Crime Commission, and the Southern Ohio Leukemia Foundation.