State Representatives Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) and Marlene Anielski (R-Independence) today unveiled legislation to protect hardworking Ohio taxpayers from public corruption.

Representatives Dovilla and Anielski unveiled legislation which would require the forfeiture of public pension benefits for public officials convicted of extortion and perjury. In addition, it would strengthen current state law to allow pensions to be forfeited based on federal criminal convictions.

“Our legislation is designed to protect the taxpayers of Ohio, not the public pensions of corrupt politicians,” Dovilla remarked. “It is simply inexcusable that public officials who engage in theft in office and other corrupt activity are able to receive reduced sentences by using their public pension as a bargaining chip.”

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 must come to an end,” said Rep. Anielski. “Federal convictions should be treated the same as state convictions.”

This legislation will be assigned to a House committee where it will undergo consideration.

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