Democratic lawmakers on the House Civil Justice Committee, including Ranking Member Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron), Rep. Jeffrey A. Crossman (D-Parma) and Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus), Tuesday voted in opposition to an amendment to House Bill 286 that would allow for a change in jurisdiction for certain public corruption cases from the Franklin County Prosecutor to the defendant’s county of residence.
Democrats noted that House Republicans proposed the change just months after a Democrat was sworn in as Franklin County prosecutor, breaking more than 50 years of GOP control of the post. Two former GOP Speakers of the House are currently under investigation for public corruption.
House Republicans offered the amendment on the same day two separate resolutions to expel disgraced former Republican Speaker Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford) were assigned to committee.
Here’s what Democrats had to say:
“This amendment brings politics into matters that involve public trust. Well settled law has determined for years that a public corruption matter be prosecuted by the current Franklin County Prosecutor. Now that there has been a change in party after 50 years, the Republicans have placed politics right at the center of corruption.” –Ranking Member Rep. Tavia Galonski
“It’s curious that after more than 60 years of GOP control, now Franklin County has a Democratic prosecutor—one who could actually prosecute public corruption crimes at the Statehouse—House Republicans decide to change the rules. Why should we let those accused of public corruption get to pick their own prosecutor?” –Rep. David Leland
“While Democratic members are standing against public corruption and pushing for anti-corruption reforms, Republican members are finding ways to hide their corruption. Do we really want people like Larry Householder picking who gets to prosecute him for public corruption?” –Rep. Jeffrey A. Crossman