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Joseph T. Deters (born April 4, 1957) is an American politician of the Republican party who currently serves as Prosecuting Attorney for Hamilton County, Ohio.

Joe Deters
19th and 21st Hamilton County, Ohio Prosecuting Attorney
Assumed office
Preceded byMichael K. Allen
In office
Preceded byArthur M. Ney, Jr.
Succeeded byMichael K. Allen
44th Ohio State Treasurer
In office
January 11, 1999 – January 5, 2005
GovernorBob Taft
Preceded byKen Blackwell
Succeeded byJennette Bradley
Personal details
Born (1957-04-04) April 4, 1957 (age 62)
Political partyRepublican
Alma mater


Deters began his career in public service in 1982 as an Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor. In 1988 after six years as an Assistant Prosecutor, Deters was elected the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts where he developed skills necessary to manage a large office. In 1992, Deters returned to the Hamilton County Prosecutor's office when he was appointed and later elected Prosecuting Attorney. Deters started the first victim and witness advocate program in Hamilton County. He was subsequently reelected in 1996.

In 1999, Deters was sworn in as Ohio's 44th State Treasurer. As Treasurer, he was responsible for collecting, managing and investing over $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, Deters became a write-in candidate for his former position, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney. He was elected Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney on November 2, 2004 with nearly 60% of the vote. He was subsequently reelected in 2008, 2012 and 2016. On April 1, 2005, Deters and Matthias Heck were sued in their official capacity in a federal lawsuit, Citizens for Tax Reform v. Deters.

In 2012, Deters was highly critical of Xavier University for expelling Dezmine Wells, one of its basketball players, due to a rape allegation. Prior to the school hearing on the matter a grand jury had refused to prosecute Wells and Deters, who is known for being tough on crime and said the prosecutor's office had conducted a thorough investigation, maintained that the accusation lacked any credibility and the decision "wasn't even close."[1][2] He said that the school proceedings had egregiously violated Wells' right to a fair hearing by putting the burden of proof on Wells instead of his accuser, had assigned incompetent staff to examine the forensic evidence, and prevented Wells from presenting evidence which would have proven his innocence. After learning of Xavier's decision, he called for the university to reexamine Wells' expulsion.[1]

On July 29, 2015, Deters oversaw the indictment of University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing in the killing of Sam DuBose during a traffic stop. He called the killing "totally unwarranted" and "senseless."[3] His comments regarding the killing received some criticism from the public.[4] Many critics also pointed to the published comments of the editorial board of the Cincinnati Enquirer which had previously criticized Deters for his remarks about a violent assault earlier that month which he had decided not to charge as a racially motivated crime.[5] In describing the people responsible for the assault, Deters called such people "soulless and unsalvageable" and implied that he perceived a race or broadly generalized socioeconomic status origin to this type of violence when he said further:

They will hurt you. They will hurt your grandma, these people. The root cause of this is there's no discipline in the homes, they don't go to school, you know, they live off the government, no personal accountability, and they just beat people up for no reason, and it's disgusting.

In July 2018, Deters said he wants the state to bring back death penalty by firing squad amid complaints about lethal injection.[6]


Deters is a 1979 graduate of the University of Cincinnati and graduated from the University of Cincinnati College Of Law in 1982. He is a member of the Cincinnati Bar Association, National District Attorneys Association and Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association. He has served on the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees, Ohio Organized Crime Commission and the Southern Ohio Leukemia Foundation.


  1. ^ a b "Few rights for either side in college judicial procedures". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  2. ^ McCourcy, Mike. "Dez Wells' expulsion from Xavier 'fundamentally unfair,' prosecutor says". SportingNews. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Ohio prosecutor's comments in fatal traffic stop shooting of Sam DuBose draw critics". The Chicago Tribune. August 7, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  5. ^ "Editorial: Deters' 'soulless' rhetoric troubling". The Cincinnati Enquirer. July 16, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  6. ^

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