Ohio

A snapshot of ethics practices in Ohio

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Ohio is one of 27 states in which no outside agency oversees ethical conduct of state legislators. It is one of 18 of those states where no ethics agency oversees any aspect of disclosure. Ohio is among seven of those states - including Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina — in which an outside agency is setup to oversee other divisions of government.

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What, if any, ethics agency exists in the state?

Ohio has the Ohio Ethics Commission, which is enabled in Ohio Revised Code Title 1, Section 102.05. The commission does not have jurisdiction over state legislators, legislative employees, judges and judicial employees. It oversees the law for all other public officials and employees.
http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode/home3.cfm?GRDescription1=revised%20code&GRDescription2=title%201&GRDescription3=&TextField=%3CJD%3A%22102%22%3ECHAPTER%20102%3A%20PUBLIC%20OFFICERS%20%2D%2D%20ETHICS&GRStructure1=102&GRStructure2=

If the above agency does not oversee legislators, is legislative oversight defined in statute?

Yes. Ohio also has the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee, which is enabled by Ohio Revised Code Title 1, Section 101.34. The committee consists of six members from each chamber and no more than three from the same political party per each chamber.
http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode/home3.cfm?GRDescription1=revised%20code&GRDescription2=title%201&GRDescription3=&TextField=%3CJD%3A%22101%22%3ECHAPTER%20101%3A%20GENERAL%20ASSEMBLY&GRStructure1=101&GRStructure2=

Are there state statutes that address ethical conduct for legislators?

Yes. Ohio Revised Code Title 1, Chapter 102, "Public Officers - Ethics" and Ohio Revised Code Title 29, Chapter 2921, "Offenses Against Justice and Public Administration," Sections 2921.42 and 2921.43 apply to all public officials and employees, including legislators, with some exceptions.
http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode/home3.cfm?GRDescription1=revised%20code&GRDescription2=title%201&GRDescription3=&TextField=%3CJD%3A%22102%22%3ECHAPTER%20102%3A%20PUBLIC%20OFFICERS%20%2D%2D%20ETHICS&GRStructure1=102&GRStructure2=

http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode/home3.cfm?GRDescription1=revised%20code&GRDescription2=title%2029&GRDescription3=&TextField=%3CJD%3A%222921%22%3ECHAPTER%202921%3A%20OFFENSES%20AGAINST%20JUSTICE%3CCR%3EAND%20PUBLIC%20ADMINISTRATION&GRStructure1=2921&GRStructure2=

When were the ethics statutes enacted?

1974

Where do legislators file outside interest disclosures?

Ohio Joint Legislative Ethics Committee. See Info Resources.
http://www.jlec-olig.state.oh.us/

Where do legislators file campaign finance disclosures?

Ohio Secretary of State, Election Services
http://www.state.oh.us/sos/election_services.htm

Where are lobbying disclosures filed?

Ohio Joint Legislative Ethics Committee
http://www.jlec-olig.state.oh.us/

Note: Some information provided by the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws' "Ethics Update" 2000. For more information or to purchase the reference, visit www.cogel.org.

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