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Ohio Ethics Commission seeks harsher penalties for giving unlawful gifts to lawmakers


The Ohio Ethics Commission is asking state lawmakers to beef up penalties for people convicted of illegally giving money or gifts to legislators or public agency leaders.

The allowable amount a donor can give a lawmaker or other leader is between $75 to $500 per year depending on who is getting the gift and how it is given. Exceeding that amount is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1000 fine. But Ohio Ethics Commission Executive Director Paul Mick says he’s asking lawmakers to increase that penalty.

“We are asking the General Assembly to enhance that to include barring folks, prohibiting them from having public contracts for five years and also giving the courts the authority to order fines that would be equal to the amount of any unlawful payments that were made,” Mick says.

To be clear, this doesn’t increase penalties for lawmakers who accept unlawful gifts – only donors who give them.

For more information on Ohio's current laws for gifts, clickhere

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.