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Ohio Lawmakers Seek Change in Where Wrongdoing by Legislators Could Be Prosecuted

Gavel outside Ohio Supreme Court
Dan Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Gavel outside Ohio Supreme Court

One of the biggest corruption cases in the nation is happening right here in Ohio. Federal prosecutors are going after the former speaker of the Ohio House, Larry Householder (R-Glenford), and the former head of the Ohio Republican Party, along with others, for federal crimes. But if there are crimes that occurred at the state level, those could be affected by an amendment that has been slipped into a bill at the Statehouse.

Most of the state-level crimes committed by Ohio's leaders are prosecuted in Franklin County where, recently, after more than six decades, a Democrat now serves as prosecutor. Democratic State Rep David Leland (D-Columbus) says that's why majority Republicans have quietly attached an amendment to an unrelated bill (HB286) that would change where state leaders are prosecuted.

"This is Republicans circling the wagons, seeing the corruption that's happening, in the Statehouse and Franklin County and deciding they need protection. They need the home court advantage. They want to move this out to local, smaller counties which may not have the expertise or interest in pursuing these public corruption cases," Leland says.

Leland says he intends to fight the change. 

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles
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.