'You're setting them up to be a more productive member of society'

New assistant prosecutor wants to help 'kids in a very difficult situation'
Cary Ashby
Mar 20, 2014

 

There's a new face in the Huron County prosecutor's office.

Patrick Hakos Jr., 26, is an assistant prosecutor handling most of the juvenile court cases and occasionally some adult ones.

The Brunswick High School graduate studied law and social thought at the University of Toledo. He attended law school at The University of Akron.

Hakos originally was a business major at UT.

"When I started in college, I didn't have plans for (studying law), but once I changed my major, it seemed best. It seemed interesting," he said.

"I love the debating and arguing and researching," said Hakos, who loves the idea of "forming an opinion and making sure you're right."

For three years, he worked for Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman.

"I was a law clerk and legal intern. ... I worked for him through most of my law-school career," Hakos said.

Hakos was asked what attracted him to Huron County.

"When he (Holman) started out, he worked here as a prosecutor. He said (Huron County) was a great place to start out. He kept it simple and said it's a great county, they're very helpful and (you'll) get a lot of experience," Hakos said.

"Dean gave him a good recommendation," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said. "He's from Medina County, so he's not going to be scared off of being in a small county."

Hakos is replacing Jennifer DeLand, who was in the prosecutor's office for about 10 years.

Her last official day was Jan. 3. DeLand now serves as in-house counsel for a Columbus business.

"He's got a very big job to fill," Leffler said about Hakos. "Jen was a very good prosecutor. Of course, she had done it for 10 years, so he has big shoes to fill."

Twenty-five people applied for the position and 10 of the candidates had interviews.

Leffler gave Hakos and the other candidates a test in which they addressed a criminal case and had to decide what charges would be appropriate and what difficulties authorities faced. The case involved former Collins resident Garry D. Ellis Jr., 21, who is serving 12 years in prison for aggravated robbery.

The armed robbery happened Oct. 24 in a Hartland Township cemetery. Ellis pulled a gun on a male victim and made him walk into a small shelter before he drove away from the scene. The defendant's girlfriend, Shannon N. Roe, will be sentenced May 1 for lying to investigators about the whereabouts of Ellis.

"He did well on that (test)," Leffler said, referring to Hokas. "He's the son of a firefighter, so he has some law-enforcement leanings."

Hakos' first day on the job was Feb. 24.

"Dina (Shenker) helped me get comfortable with everything," said Hakos, who now feels good about his job duties.

Shenker handles tax collection and foreclosures plus some juvenile and adult cases for the prosecutor's office.

"Everybody has been really helpful, really nice. I definitely feel very welcome here," said Hakos, who is a member of the American, Ohio State and Huron County bar associations.

When asked what's the most challenging part of handling juvenile cases, Hakos said it's often the subject matter itself.

"It can be sad. You can see kids in a very difficult situation and you want to help," he added.

Hakos said he "definitely" believes he's helping juveniles through his job.

"You're setting them up to be a more productive member of society before they start committing more serious offenses," he said.

What Hakos finds most fulfilling is helping juveniles involved in dependency and abuse cases by putting them in a safer and more stable environment.

Hakos eventually wouldn't mind being a county prosecutor.

"I'm just taking it a day at a time," he said.

Comments

JakeMac25

Good luck!

Now The Rest of...

After a few years dealing with the frequent flyers and their parents his attitude of helping them will change. I wonder if Leffler was wearing his tie that doubles as a bib when he interviewed him? Always can tell what Russ had for lunch, its on his shirt and tie.

ole45mag

The best way to control the kids is the way Hilary Clinton stated in her “It Takes a Village” book and ideas. Make it a law that all kids, as a requirement to graduate from high school, must perform a set amount of hours starting in Jr. High, doing community service. It has become a fact that the kids need to do something constructive to make them feel of value in society. It’s better that they do it as kids, than with the road cleanup gang while in jail. Remember when our president himself stated that he was a community activist? What a wonderful lead to follow. And for all that feel this is the beginning of socialism, it isn’t. It’s being like Jesus…kind and meek…helpful! I saw that Monroeville’s BEN PAUL has already jumped on Hilary’s boat (probably doesn’t know it) with the idea of teaching the kids how to be helpful in the community. God bless him and his school for their kindheartedness! Seems that since they did the Rachel’s Challenge program, nothing but good ideas have come forth from Monroeville. Funny how a little school like that could be a leader by making community work a must for graduation. I don’t know what you’d call this class, or how you’d grade it. And I don’t think that this course requirement can be done after school hours since it’d put the school year hours over the limit. I don’t know, but it can be done. These days, whether we like to admit it or not, we need the entire village to help us with the kids. So I say head it off before it gets to Mr. Hakos. I’ve heard that the seniors say they have their plates full already with the new graduation requirements and projects, but this small addition isn’t a bigee, they have plenty of time.

truckin

Entire village?
By your way of thinking..
We already serve breakfast, lunch and some school districts serve dinner, why not just roll out the cots in the gym and take the kids away from their parents early and just allow weekend visits.. I mean heck with your thinking, a group of government bureaucrat's would be much better at raising children with good values..teachers already spew that parents are the fault....
go with it.
I am sure you are one who is very grateful the government is forcefully doing away with that silly thought of a God/Jesus etc... I am sure you feel a ruler of the land like the current administration is the end all be all.
Society of obey/serve/obey/serve/obey/serve.. i gotcha! good one

Contango

Re: “It Takes a Village” - Soviet-style collectivist thinking.

Re: mandatory "community service," i.e. slave to the State.

Foodforthought

Dina Shenker is the most worthless Asst P. there is. She has zero business in this field. She belongs in a circus act as the main act

truckin

For the life of me, i just can't figure out how Leffler got.. "son a firefighter, means law enforcement leanings"???
So does that mean if a child's father had ever committed a crime we might as well lock the kid up now.. You say he has leanings??
So now the truth comes out.. It's not who you are, but more of who your related to??
That's what i gather.

Contango

Best wishes for much success Mr. Hakos. Your intentions are admirable.