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Head, Heart and Hand helps you determine who’s the right man. My name is John Rutan, and I am running for Franklin County Prosecutor to do the right thing. To protect the public, to punish those who deserve it and to make the community a better and safer place. In every case, more than one family is affected. The past 13 years working as a justice defense attorney I have gained invaluable life experience into why good people do bad things, why certain crimes are committed and how to change people for the better. I fought to get people what was fair when time was appropriate, learned of several avenues to use to help rehabilitate clients and have saved several people falsely accused. My goal now is instead of fighting to only help a few, to become the Franklin County Prosecutor to help the many. I intend to do this by implementing the following list of prosecutor pledges if elected.


  1. Faith Plus Programs and Prison: If you are determining people’s fate, you should have more faith than hate. I live by two edicts, "Love God with all your mind, body and soul" and “love your neighbor like you love yourself”. Sentence recommendations will be based on compassion and measurable justice.
  2. Bring Crime Down: A County prosecutor can help bring crime down with policies, programs, compassion and accountability. By getting the dangerous people off the streets with effective and efficient prosecution of all cases and using measurable justice so not to create a new generation of criminals. Give the police force advice and counsel to administer fair justice and improve the integrity of their cases so criminals don't get let off due to a constitutional violation. There also needs to be standards so the public knows what to expect to help deter and punish. One example of failed leadership is about 200 teenagers go to prison per year. Absent murder or attempted murder, no juvenile should go to prison. Some standards that will apply are as follows: 1) Any child crime will be punished to the fullest. 2) Life for a life absent legal justification or mitigating circumstances. 3) If you are a juvenile and get caught with a gun you will get at least one year. 4) If you go to prison and get out and commit a similar crime, your sentence will be enhanced. 5) Additional crimes will result in additional time. 6) People need to know ones home is the most sacred place one can have. You cross that threshold, you will have a new home for several years. 7) If you bring a gun to the street in ill will, you will be taken off the street. 8) Non violent offenders and drug users will know, our office has compassion and will provide the opportunity to get better. People will know you can either be sober at home, or be sober in prison but they will have an opportunity at recovery if they shall chose.  
  3. Prosecute the small stuff so the big stuff does not happen. I like the logic behind the Guliani's broken windows theory that gave New York 20 years of relative safety before DeBlasio went a different direction. If you prosecute the small stuff, the big stuff doesn't happen as often. Under that theory it addresses small crimes, but where I would piggy back off that logic is with low level offenders. I understand we need compassion and give low level offenders another shot at life, but probation should also come with consequences. I think it would be important for people charged with a felony to see the inside of a jail so they gain a greater appreciation of future consequences. Too often, someone's first time inside a penal institution is for years, where if they would have got days or weeks, years before, it would never have led to that. Another way I can help bring crime down in Franklin County that will be proven with statistics given the opportunity..
  4. Prison Is Not for Children Unless Murder Or Attempted Murder: In running for this position, I was shocked to find out that over the past 10 years in Franklin County, each year according to the Columbus Dispatch 158 to just over 200 teenagers are sent to prison. My first thought was, now way are there that many murders. That is a leadership problem. This will not happen under my administration. At 18 a person is no longer subject to the juvenile system. If you commit a crime under the age of 18, the juvenile system under the most extreme circumstances can hold a child up to the age of 21. So to give up on a child at the age of 15, 16 or 17, when the system can have another 4 years shocks my moral consciousness. I have spent my career keeping juveniles in the system absent murder or attempted murder's. In the system does not mean probation, but it means being locked up at a facility that is intended to punish, not destroy. Putting teenagers with grown man is a form of torture. "Youth in adult facilities are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted, eight times more likely to die by suicide, and nearly twice as likely to be beaten by staff or attacked with a weapon by another inmate, according to the Children’s Law Center, a national nonprofit legal center that works for kids’ rights." As the Franklin County Prosecutor, I will rule with compassion and accountability. Children will be punished, not victimized. 
  5. Life for a Life: No negotiations for murders absent legal justification or mitigation.
  6. Child crimes will be punished to the fullest extent permitted by law. Some crimes are unforgiveable.
  7. School threats will be treated like terrorism: My Dad always told me, be careful what you think. Thoughts become words, and words become actions. People that threaten schools need to be locked up and treated much more severely. Our children are our future, and they must be protected.
  8. Human Trafficking will be punished to the fullest extent permitted by law. People will know with this new prosecutor, Franklin County is a place where they can be safe and if they are violated, although we cannot take away the pain, we will take away the defendant as long as the law permits.
  9. Present and Available. I will not only be present but prosecuting. I will lead by example. I will engage with the lawyers, police, the public, victims and other defense attorneys. My skill set and experience will add a unique perspective to assisting prosecuting attorneys in preparation of trial. I will host biweekly attorney meetings to discuss law updates and ongoing cases.
  10. Handling Juvenile Proceedings Differently: I love working in Juvenile Court because of the focus on rehabilitation. But Rehabilitation is not the same as Repeat. People deserve second chances, but not third and fourth. Additionally, some crimes are so bad second chances are not permitted. Further, not only would my office focus on the juvenile, but the parents as well. Programs would be designed to correct the problem, not just mask it. All children are born good.
  11. Parent Responsibility. If parents want leniency for their children charged with crimes, they to shall have to engage in counseling, supervision, be responsible for a true curfew, insure homework is completed, that their children attend school to name a few. 
  12. Bail Reform: Prosecutors have influence on the Judges’ decisions at bail hearing. The real purpose of bail is to secure the person’s appearance and protect the public. Not to drain their savings account, keep them locked up, inhibit their ability to hire a lawyer and fill the jails. As county prosecutor there will be more reasonable bails for low level offenders, first time offenders, non-violent offenders and requests for the highest possible bail for the most egregious crimes that are supported by evidence.
  13. Community Service, Faith Based Programs and Fines: There will be an emphasis on penalties involving community service in every case. Fines when reasonable to help fund the rehabilitation programs. As a defense attorney, 90% of my clients had two traits in common. Lack of Faith and lack of Family. Although we cannot make people attend church, they won’t be deterred but encouraged.
  14. More Opportunities for People to Be Rehabilitated. Prison should primarily be for violent criminals and repeat offenders. Diversion programs will be set up to assist with focusing on not only the problem, but the pain leading to such issues. You don’t need just tools but substitutes.
  15. Home is Where the Heart Is: If you break into someone’s home, you will have a new home for several years. Your home is your castle and will be respected as such.
  16. White Collar Crimes are crimes too. Too often I see excuses that no one was hurt. Loss of finances and savings can hurt much longer than a punch. Such crimes will not go unpunished and there will be importance stressed on restitution and resting in jail.
  17. Drugs: When it comes to drugs, those people committing crimes to get drugs will be punished more severely than those who are merely hurting themselves. Prosecutors will be encouraged to advise defense counsels that what happens during the pendency of the case matters. Pretrial programs will be created if they do not already exist that will be geared to give an accused an opportunity to show one’s desire to rehabilitate. Alternative resolutions to prison will be encouraged if certain factors are met such as the level of the crime, prior record, victims blessing.
  18. Fair Trials Are More Important Than Winning. A focus on fairness instead of winning. I will create an environment where lawyers want to ask me for help, opposed to feeling that if they ask for help it’s a sign of weakness. As County Prosecutor our goal will be to give the jury all the evidence and each person a fair trial. There will be punishments for unethical behavior and shady lawyering. 
  19. Lie Detectors Work: Throughout my career I have used lie detector tests to exonerate clients. Sometimes the prosecutors will tell me, let me check with my boss and see what the policy is. My policy will be to save resources, if someone wants to take a test, it can be used. It’s a two way street. If they pass the case is over, if they fail, they will get more time.
  20. Jailers Will Work: I will work with congress and the county sheriff's office to figure out a way to have inmates work. Sitting around all day isn’t helping anyone. They could be learning new trade skills or cleaning up the streets of Franklin County.
  21. No One Is Above the Law. People will be prosecuted based on conduct, not excused based on money, power or profession. People in positions of power will be treated much more severely.
  22. Advice and Counsel: One of my job duties is to provide legal advice and counsel to all county elected officials and county departments. Providing advice is the easiest part of my job. Always tell the truth and do not be afraid to ask someone smarter about a question if I do not know the answer. One of the great privileges of being a County Prosecutor is being surrounded by experienced, self-educated bright minded colleagues.
  23. Advice and Counsel to Police: I understand some cases can be dismissed due to constitutional violations. I think it would be important to have County Prosecutor officers feel comfortable getting advice from them to do better. I am a student of law and know people’s constitutional rights inside and out. I will help strengthen the police force with being educated. This will also help instill public trust with the citizens being treated fairer and more effective prosecution of cases. 
  24. Before Charges Are Filed Department: As all practicing attorneys in Franklin County know, a lot of cases get dismissed for futures since drugs and guns need to be tested. During those lapses in time, I will create a department to allow counsels to negotiate cases for clients who want to accept responsibility prior to cases going to grand jury. This would provide opportunities for cases to be resolved quicker and easier.
  25. John Rutan as a boss. If I am fortunate enough to be elected, everyone will start with a clean slate and presumption of competence and compassion. I will be sure to give all lawyers independence and support. The only limitations I will set on prosecutors is no child crimes or murders can be reduced absent legal justifications which none apply towards children. I will be more of a team player than some coach on the sideline. I will be involved in trials; have an open-door policy and you will have my cell phone number. I will host quarterly events to build relationships and office morale. I will also host biweekly meetings for lawyers to discuss their cases, issues, strategies and updates in the laws.
  26. Improve Work Environment.  If I am elected, this will be my first-time working for a prosecutor’s office. I am mindful other people have been there much longer and could have ideas on how to improve the work atmosphere, which I am excited to learn about. Some of my ideas from prior experience include giving prosecutors the ability to request divisions and assigning floors to avoid the issue of having to be in 3 places at one time. My attitude, transparency, and appreciation will help foster an environment of dignity with a newfound excitement for work.
  27. No Money Just Your Vote: I know as a candidate, I have the ability and moral compass to be an exemplary, unique and effective Franklin County prosecutor. For too many years, the public has had to vote more for who is the lesser of two evils than the best candidate. I want people to know what is important to me is that they vote for me because of the person, not the party. You cannot effect change unless you also want to be that change. I don’t think it is right to ask for money when applying for a job. I hope to be proof you can win by doing things the right way. I am mindful people may want to help and that will be appreciated. But the important thing to know is, if I call you, or talk to you, it won’t be followed up with, can you donate. My events won’t cost money to attend. Having you there, or your vote, means more to me than any dollar amount. I am grateful for your consideration and hope for your vote and to pass my name along. GODSPEED.
  28. I will meet with Probationers. I would make it a requirement that all people on felony probation must attend a group meeting hosted by myself. This will be required when they first get on probation, and when they get off. I will hold these twice a year, have guest speakers, and it will be hosted in the auditorium of the courthouse. This will show the accused our community cares, give them tools to succeed and give me a peace of mind I am making the right decisions for the greater good.  
  29. Probationers will have opportunities for Jobs as a condition. Central Ohio has a lot of opportunities for people in the technology field. The issue is skilled labor. What's amazing is, it only requires a certification. During my campaign, I came across NCUS where people can earn up to $25 an hour and it is only a 6 week training course. The easiest way to stop a bullet is a job. Please see for more information. 
  30. Golden Badge Rule: Work with law enforcement to ensure they have checks and balances as to why felony charges to file. To often, people get future charges and law enforcement just piles on a bunch of charges to make the bail higher. Although someone may only be locked up 10 days, every day counts in life. Plus they can lose there job, paycheck etc. We must be mindful of fairness and justice for all.

Monday, January 15, 2024 3:29 PM

John Rutan Announces Candidacy Video 10.28.23

Please consider viewing my speech on October 28, 2023 at the Dublin Republican Party event. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 1:47 PM

Ballotepedia Survey John Rutan

Please consider reviewing the Ballotpedia survey I completed for my Franklin County Prosecutor candidacy. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 1:19 PM

First Republican joins 2024 race for Franklin County prosecutor, faces uphill battle

Its a battle of information, not candidates. If people understand this is a moral position, not a political, I should have an opportunity to prove to the community I will be an exemplary County Prosecutor. 

Committee to Elect John Rutan
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