Luckie, prosecutor confirm investigation; 2 Democrats say he won't seek re-election

Published: Thursday, August 09, 2012 @ 7:27 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 09, 2012 @ 7:27 PM

            In this file photo: Clayton Luckie, D, 39th District, left, with his wife Lisa looking on, right, is sworn in by Speaker of the House Jon A. Husted Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006, in Columbus, Ohio.
            AP Photo/Terry Gilliam

State Rep. Clayton Luckie and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien both issued statements Thursday confirming that the Dayton Democrat is under investigation but not for bribery. But the statements didn’t answer questions about what charges, if any, Luckie may face.

Earlier this year, O’Brien brought a criminal case against Columbus-area state lawmaker W. Carlton Weddington that led to Weddington resigning, cooperating with authorities and pleading guilty to bribery and other charges.

Luckie said in a written statement: “I assure my constituents that I have not been involved in any of that conduct, nor am I the target of said investigation. We have, however, discovered errors on some reports that are currently being addressed. I take these matters very seriously and have instructed my team to conduct a full review of the reports in question. Out of respect for the process, I will not be addressing any questions until my team has completed their analysis.”

It is unclear whether Luckie is referring to ethics statements, campaign finance reports or something else. He did not return messages seeking clarification.

Meanwhile, two Democratic sources said Luckie may agree to withdraw from the November ballot as early as today, giving the Montgomery County Democratic Party just enough time to run a substitute candidate. Former Dayton mayor Rhine McLin and former state senator Fred Strahorn are being considered as possible replacements, sources said. Monday is the deadline for political parties to replace candidates who withdraw from a race.

Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owens said Luckie did not return his messages on Thursday and top party officials researched state law governing replacing candidates on the ballot. “There are some people that have expressed interest (in replacing Luckie in the race) if that were to happen but I’m not prepared to identify those people,” Owens said.

Initially appointed to the Ohio House, Luckie is seeking his fourth two-year term and is running against Republican Jeff Wellbaum this November.

Wellbaum’s campaign manager Paul Harris said, “We are certainly shocked and surprised by the allegations levied toward Rep. Luckie. Our response is to stick to a positive campaign about what Mr. Wellbaum will do for the citizens of the 39th District. Lower taxes, better veterans’ benefits, protecting the unborn and working with Gov. Kasich to bring people and jobs back to Ohio.”

The 39th District includes most of the city of Dayton.

Before going to the Ohio House, Luckie served on the Dayton School Board from 1996 to 2006. He lives in the Wright-Dunbar Historic District and works part-time for JEC Paper & Related Products where he made less than $10,000 last year, according to his financial disclosure statement filed with the state. His state representative job pays $68,000 a year.

In June 2010, Luckie and his wife Lisa Beth Willis filed for divorce just three months after the birth of their daughter. In the May 2011 divorce agreement, Luckie got a 2005 Cadillac Escalade, half of his wife’s 401(k) account and a house in Wright-Dunbar and one in Springboro. The couple agreed to joint parenting and they split up their $56,000 in consumer credit card debt: $36,000 for him, $20,000 for her.

In January 2012, Luckie got into a verbal altercation with his neighbor, Joseph W. Shaw, who is dating his ex-wife, according to a Dayton police report. Lisa Beth Willis said, “I have no comment on that.”

John Lewis joins Saturday protest as Trump heads to Atlanta for NRA convention

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Workers put the finishing touches on the convention floor at the Georgia World Congress Center in preparation for The 146th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Atlanta on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

UPDATE: Atlanta’s U.S. Rep. John Lewis has just been confirmed for Saturday’s protest rally in Woodruff Park, upping the event’s profile on the eve of Donald Trump’s visit Friday to the city.

The civil rights icon famously traded barbs with Trump on Twitter earlier this year about Lewis’ accomplishments as well as the state of the congressman’s district -- the very district the convention is being held in.

ORIGINAL STORY: At least several hundred gun control advocates are expected to gather Friday and Saturday in downtown Atlanta to protest the National Rifle Association’s annual convention this weekend.

On Friday, as President Donald Trump plans to address the NRA gathering midday at the Georgia World Congress Center, more than 300 people have RSVP’d on social media to attend a 11:30 a.m. “die-in” several blocks away in Woodruff Park.

At the same time, other protesters are expected to gather at Centennial Olympic Park, which is much closer to the convention site.

Then on Saturday, national advocates backed by Everytown for Gun Safety are planning a, 11 a.m. rally at Woodruff Park. Organizers say they have received at least 1,000 RSVP’s for the event, which will include both local and national activists.

More than 80,000 people are expected to attend the convention, which is the NRA’s showcase event for the year and also features hundreds of exhibitors.

Trump, whose visit marks the first time since Ronald Reagan that a sitting president has attended the convention, is also expected to attend a fund-raiser for 6th Congressional District candidate Karen Handel Friday afternoon.

Another round of base closures is likely in 2020, Turner says

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 3:50 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 3:51 PM

Rep. Mike Turner Wednesday told a crowd of Dayton civic and business leaders that they should be prepared for the possibility of a round of base closures in 2020 – a move that could have a sweeping impact on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Speaking at the Dayton Development Coalition’s annual fly-in in Washington, D.C., Turner, a Dayton Republican who is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he believed that the committee will begin crafting the authorizing language for a round of closures, meaning such work would ultimately be done in 2020.

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The last time there was a round of base closures was 2005, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the state’s largest single-site employer, fared well there, garnering 1,200 jobs in that round.

But Turner said this year is a little different.

“We usually look at BRAC as a winning opportunity for our community,” he said, adding, “I do believe that this BRAC will be not just Air Force to Air Force. It will be inter-service.”

That means that Wright-Patterson will be competing with other service branches to land new missions or retain old ones. “We need to be looking as a community at ways in which we can enhance opportunities …so we can partner with other service branches,” he said.

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Turner was one of six Ohio lawmakers to address the nearly 130 members of the coalition who flew into Washington to emphasize the federal government’s importance to their community.

Many members expressed concern about the impact of President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said both parties have “pushed back” on Trump’s plans to zero out a handful of federal programs, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Appalachian Regional Commission. He said cuts to the National Institutes of Health would hurt local hospitals.

And Rep. David Joyce, R-Russell Twp., said cuts to the Great Lakes are a non-starter.

“Mick’s a nice guy,” he said of Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, “but the thing he has brought up to cut funding to the Great Lakes – I don’t see that he has much support outside himself, really.”

RELATED: Dayton leaders in D.C. to push local issues

Turner said many of the cuts “are not going to fly.” He said he supports restoring money to some of the existing programs but also wants to make sure the money doesn’t come out of Defense.

Wright-Patt and the Springfield Air Guard Base have great track records, the lawmakers noted. But, said Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, ”You don’t want to take anything for granted.”

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, said he does not believe the Defense Department will focus on base closures yet.

“I don’t know if we’ll end up with a BRAC,” he said, “But if we do, we need to make sure Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are in a position to pick up net missions, net jobs, like they did in the last round of BRAC.”


Loopholes raise questions about Ohio ethics laws

Ohio Budget: House targets opiate addiction crisis

Published: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 @ 10:14 PM

Heroin is seen at the bottom of a test tube at the Montgomery County Crime Lab. STAFF PHOTO / CHRIS STEWART(Staff Writer)
Breaking News Staff

Ohio House Republicans on Tuesday announced they’re pouring an extra $170.6 million into fighting the opiate addiction crisis.

As Ohio leads the nation in accidental drug overdoses, state leaders are reaching for multiple fixes. The House budget plan carves out $170.6 million, including $12.2 million for prevention and education, $130 million for treatment options, $19.4 million for mental health supports, and $9 million for job training. Money is also earmarked to develop a smartphone app that will help guide addicts or their family members to treatment and recovery options.

“I realize this is one step in the process. This conversation is going to continue for a long time,”said House Finance Committee Chairman Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell.

March 2017: Ohio sets one-week limit on pain killers

RELATED: 2016 set for record year for overdose deaths

The program includes mandating that insurance companies cover tele-medicine for mental health services so that patients in under-served areas have access to counseling, establishing ‘mental health’ courts similar to drug courts, allocating more money to child protective services and kinship care to help kids who lose parents to drug addiction, spending $20 million to build new treatment facilities and allocating $9 million for regional detox centers.

Despite investing almost $1 billion a year to fight drug abuse and addiction — much of it through expanded Medicaid — accidental overdoses in Ohio claimed 3,050 lives in Ohio in 2015, up 20.5 percent over 2014.

Lawmakers are also seeking to require driver’s education classes include instruction on drug abuse, the science of addiction and the effect of psychoactive substances while driving.

Public Pensions: 5 things to know about teacher pension system

Published: Monday, April 24, 2017 @ 3:19 PM
Updated: Monday, April 24, 2017 @ 3:19 PM

The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio took a big step toward shoring up its finances for the long-haul when it voted to indefinitely suspend the cost of living allowance given to retired teachers.

The move came after STRS was advised by actuaries and consultants that it should lower its expected annual rate of return and change other assumptions. As a result, unfunded liabilities grew, forcing the system to make cuts.

Related: Retired Ohio teachers to lose cost of living increase

Here are five key things to know about Ohio’s second largest public pension fund:

1. STRS of Ohio was founded in 1919 and covers 490,000 active and retired teachers.

2. The system has more than $76 billion invested and earned 7.8 percent last year.

3. STRS was among the four public pension systems that under went a massive overhaul in 2012 to shore up its finances.

4. Pension benefits are prescribed by state law, not union contracts, and the liabilities are covered by employee and employer contributions as well as investment income.

5. STRS isn’t the only system looking to cut costs. The School Employees Retirement System of Ohio is asking lawmakers for permission to cut the cost of living allowance given to retirees and use that money to shore up funding for retiree health care. And the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund is considering eliminating subsidized health care and giving retirees a monthly stipend instead.