LOGAN — During Thursday’s Hocking County Board of Commissioners meeting a resolution was read by Sandra Ogle, board president, that indicated the commissioners will be joining roughly 500 others in a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies.

Early 2017, Hocking County, through the board of commissioners, joined a lawsuit against some of the major drug pharmaceuticals and distributors related to opioids. The resolution added a couple of other distributors that were found since then.

This is roughly 500 separate lawsuits consisting of municipalities, counties, unions, etc., described Hocking County Prosecutor Benjamin Fickel.

All the cases are in federal court, Fickel added. He believes one will be tried in September as a test run to see how the rest of the cases will go. By the end of the year they’re hoping to have some idea of how the county’s case will go.

“It’s moving along actually, pretty quickly. I know two, two and a half years doesn’t sound really quick, but for a federal lawsuit involving the amount of documents that are included that is pretty quick,” he explained.

Fickel added there had been a gag order issued on the lawsuits so there wasn’t much else he could say regarding details.

During the meeting the board of commissioners also made agreements to upgrade security cameras in the Hocking County Annex building.

Additionally, Hocking County Sheriff’s Office Major Caleb Moritz explained how the office is planning to get rid of a lot of their archive evidence.

“We have probably 300 to 350 banker boxes of files that need to be shredded, which is going to be costly. Rose (clerk of commissioners) worked on getting a couple of quotes and we’re talking an excess of $1,000 to $1,500 just to shred what we have,” expressed Moritz.

Mortiz continued noting that the sheriff’s office realizes there are also some other Hocking County offices that would benefit from having a community shredder or shredding services.

This machine will handle 400 to 500 pounds of paperwork an hour. Hocking Valley Industries told Moritz they would sell the machine to the county for $1,000, but the county doesn’t have that kind of excess money.

“Sheriff Lanny North said he would split that cost with the county so everybody in the county could use that. So Sheriff North would pay $500 if the commissioners could pay the other $500,” proposed Mortiz.

All three of the commissioners agreed this would be a good addition and benefit to the county offices to share. The board would like to find a central place to put it so everyone could utilize the machine. Ogle made the motion to approve the purchase and passed without dissent.

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