The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 284, legislation that increases transparency and accountability of elected officials.


House Bill 284, sponsored by State Reps. Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) and Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills), adds the felony offenses of extortion and perjury to the list of crimes which will result in the forfeiture of retirement benefits or termination of disability benefits in the event that an individual serving in a position of public trust is convicted.  In addition, it would strengthen current state law to allow pensions to be forfeited based on federal criminal convictions.


“Today, I am pleased to announce that the Ohio House of Representatives has passed the most substantive anti-public corruption legislation in many years,” Dovilla said. “When signed into law, this bill will ensure the hardworking taxpayers of our state are not providing taxpayer-subsidized golden parachutes to convicted politicians and public officials who grossly abuse the offices with which they are entrusted. It is my hope that the Ohio Senate acts swiftly to pass and send this important reform bill to the Governor.”


Currently, only elected or appointed officials convicted of the felonies of (1) bribery or engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; (2) theft in office of property or services; and (3) conspiracy, complicity, or an attempt to commit any of these offenses at the state level forfeit their retirement and disability benefits. 
 
“Closing the loophole that allows felony convicted public officials to keep their taxpayer-funded public pensions or disability benefits will come to an end,” Anielski said. “Federal convictions of racketeering, theft or bribery offenses would have to be committed on or after the effective date of HB 284."


House Bill 284 now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
 
  
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