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Ex-assistant prosecutor in Seneca County speaks out after he is abruptly fired, says he is a ‘scapegoat’

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Richard Palau

TIFFIN — A former assistant prosecutor in Seneca County whose primary duty was to handle misdemeanor crimes is speaking out after he was fired last week, claiming Prosecutor Derek DeVine is using him as a “political scapegoat.”

Richard H. Palau was fired last Wednesday for poor job performance, according to Prosecutor Derek DeVine.

“He would not even give me any reason when he told me to leave,” Palau said in a statement.


Palau graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor of arts in economics and history. He then went on to Capital University Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1988.

“I have strived to treat every defendant with civility, courtesy, and to respect their human dignity. An accusation against them does not make them guilty nor should it. I know that I am not perfect. The only perfect man I know is Jesus. I only wish blessings on all. However, I do wish Mr. DeVine would stop making me a political scapegoat to be sacrificed to social media,” Palau said in the statement.

During his 30 years of practice, Palau worked for the firm of Calig and Handelman in Columbus, as well as his own firm, Palau Law Offices. He also worked with Legal Aid of Columbus.

After serving fifteen years as Tiffin City Prosecutor, Palau was subsumed by the Seneca County Prosecutor’s office in 2018.

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