Ohio Democrats Want to Stop State Officeholders from Holding Paid Positions

by J.D. Davidson


Ohio Democrats plan to announce legislation Thursday that would ban any statewide office holder from holding private employment, performing private work or serving in any private position that they get paid to do.

State Reps. Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, and Mary Lightbody, D-Westerville, have called a press conference for 11:45 a.m. on Thursday to announce what they are calling the State Official Integrity Act.

The legislation comes in response to Lt. Gov. Jon Husted taking a paid position on the corporate board of Heartland BancCorp in May.

In a news release announcing Thursday’s announcement, the lawmakers called Husted’s position with Heartland unprecedented and said it raises ethical concerns about statewide officeholders using political influence for personal gain and creating potential conflicts of interest.

Also, recently reported text messages suggest Husted played a role in advocating for passage of House Bill 6, a state’s multi-billion-dollar nuclear bailout bill that led to what federal prosecutors call the largest corruption scandal in state history and the arrest and ouster of former House Speaker Larry Householder.

At a news conference in November 2021 highlighting programs for children in foster care in Ohio, Husted said he played no role in the passage of HB6.

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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. Davidson is a regional editor for The Center Square. 
Photo “Jon Husted” by Jon Husted. 




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