It is with a heavy heart that we have to report that the former Chief of the Civil Division, Chris R. VanSchaik, passed away at his home on Sunday, November 3, 2019.
Chris was born in Dayton on February 9, 1941, to the late Chris and Vera VanSchaik. Chris graduated from Chaminade High School and the University of Dayton before attending the University of Cincinnati Law School.
Chris was appointed as an Assistant Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney on November 9, 1970, and in 1979 he was promoted to the position of Chief of the Civil Division of the office. He served in that position until his retirement in December 2004. Chris was the legal advisor and attorney for the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and attended the commission meetings for over two decades.
Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck said, "Chris VanSchaik displayed the utmost integrity and dedication to a life of public service. He was a most valued employee and was a well-respected expert and speaker on county and municipal law throughout Ohio. Chris had a great sense of humor and will be sadly missed by all of us who had the good fortune of working and spending time with him at and outside of work."
Former Prosecuting Attorney Lee C. Falke added, "I hired Chris in 1970 right out of law school. It was an excellent choice, as he was a hard-working and smart lawyer who eventually was promoted to the Chief of the Civil Division. In addition to his ability as an attorney and assistant prosecuting attorney, he always had a joke to liven up the day. He is missed."
The Ohio Crisis Response Team awarded the Outstanding Community Leadership Award to Ms. Sandy Hunt, the DIrector of the Victim/Witness Division. The award was given to recognize her efforts in facilitating and expeditiing a supportive response during "a time of community-wide crisis," the Oregon District shooting.
October 7, 2019 - Assistant Prosecutor Dan Brandt, Prosecutor Mat Heck, and Assistant Prosecutor Erin Claypoole (hiding behind the lamp shade) gave a press conference to annouce the indictment of Raymond A. Walters on 22 felony charges including two counts of murder, for stabbing his father, stealing his father's truck, then stealing a Riverside police cruiser, and crashing it into multiple vehicles and killing two six year old girls.
On June 26, 2019, Prosecutor Heck had the distinct honor of giving the oath of office to Judge Mary E. Montgomery, Montgomery County's newest Common Pleas Court Judge. Mary was elected in November 2018's general election and her term begins on July 1st. Mary has been an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the office for the past 21 years, most recently serving as the chief of the Civil DIvision.
On May 31, 2019, Prosecutor Heck and Mr. John North, President and CEO of the Dayton Better Business Bureau discussed the possible scams in the area from people looking to profit from the recent tornado outbreak. (Read the press release here.)
On April 16, 2018, Prosecutor Heck served as a panelist at a luncheon on Promoting Professionalism in the Criminal Justice System, sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio in partnership with the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Pictured left to right:
Leon J. Daidone, Criminal DIvision Chief
Nicole Amrhein, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Deb Armanini, First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Steve Hall, Assistant Director, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association
Louis Tobin, Executive Director, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association
Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr.
Jennifer Weber, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Andrew French, Appellate Division Chief
Mary Montgomery, Civil Division Chief
Victoria Nilles, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. At a kick-off event on April 2, 2019, Prosecutor Heck announed the 2019 Champion of Children Award went to Ms. Rachel Tussey for her involvement in seeing that her son received justice after being bullied. (Click here for video of the award ceremony)
Monday, December 10, 2018 was Homicide Victim Memorial Day. Prosecutor Heck held the 28th Annual Homicide Victim Memorial Service in Dayton to acknowledge the 51 lives lost to violence in Montgomery County over the past year.
On October 2, 2018, Prosecutor Heck spoke at a press conference with the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce about the terrible problems with Issue 1, which will be on the ballot this November.
Video of Event
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you, or someone you know, is the victim of domestic violence, call our Victim/Witness Division Hotline at 937-225-5623.
July 25, 2018 - Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck, Jr. and Mary Montgomery, Chief of the Civil Division of the office, announced the filing of two lawsuits against opioid manfacturers and distributors. Click HERE for the press release.
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Prosecutor Heck kicked off the annual event with an award ceremony at Montgomery County's Child Advocacy Center, CARE House, on April 3, 2018.
On September 1, 2017, Prosecutor Heck was honored to address the Dayton Police Department's 106th Academy Class graduates.
On April 12, 2017, Children Services hosted a Walk for Child Abuse/Neglect Awareness. Prosecutor Heck was a featured speaker.
Since 1983, the month of April has been designated as National Child Abuse Awareness Month. On April 5, 2017, during a press event at CARE House to acknowledge it, Prosecutor Heck gave special recognition to Linda Kerley, an employee of Quality Inn in Butler Township, for her quick action by calling police when she saw an 8-year-old girl being sexually assaulted on the property.
On January 3, 2017, prosecutor Heck was sworn in, by Dayton Municipal Court Judge Daniel Gehres, for his seventh full term of office.
Pictured above: Prosecutor Heck's son, Mathew; Prosecutor Heck's wife, Vandalia Municipal Court Judge Cynthia Heck; Prosecutor Heck; Dayton Municipal Court Judge Daniel Gehres.