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

Published: Thursday, August 09, 2012 @ 7:27 PM
Updated: Sunday, August 28, 2016 @ 2:46 PM
By: Laura A. Bischoff - Staff Writers

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.”

WATCH LIVE: Inauguration Day coverage

Published: Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 8:00 AM
Updated: Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 5:14 PM
By: Lynn Hulsey - Staff Writer

WATCH LIVE: Inauguration Day coverage
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: U.S. President Donald Trump waves to supporters as he walks the parade route with first lady Melania Trump after being sworn in at the 58th Presidential Inauguration January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Donald J. Trump was sworn in today as the 45th president of the United States (Photo by Evan Vucci - Pool/Getty Images) (Pool/Getty Images)

The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president is today and we have all of the angles covered for you to keep up with this event as it happens.


YOUR VOICE: What do you want Donald Trump to do once he’s in office?

We have a team of reporters in Washington getting ready for this week’s events.

Our team in D.C. includes:

WHIO-TV reporter Jim Otte will be talking with elected officials and getting reaction from around Washington all week. He’ll have special reports each night this week on Newscenter 7 starting at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at @JOtteWHIO.

Dayton Daily News reporter Will Garbe is going to be on the ground in D.C. to give you an inside look at the inauguration and events around Washington. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at @WGarbeWHIO. reporter Amelia Robinson is tracking down local people who are going to the inauguration on Friday and the women’s march on Saturday. Watch out for her on Facebook live throughout the week. You can follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at @DDNSmartMouth.

WHIO-TV Lauren Clark will be up early giving you updates on what’s happening in Washington. Watch her reports on Newscenter 7 each morning starting at 4:30 a.m. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at @LClarkWHIO.

AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO’s Jeremy Ratliff will be on radio each morning from Washington to bring you the latest. You can follow him on Twitter at @JeremyRatliff

Our Washington Correspondents Jack Torry and Jessica Wehrman will have the inside scoop on political reaction and how it impacts you. Follow them on Twitter at @JackTorry1 and @JessicaWehrman

WHIO Radio’s Washington Correspondent Jamie Dupree knows everyone in Washington and will have updates on Twitter at @JamieDupree


* Tune in to AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO Friday starting at 5 a.m. for coverage all day.

* Join us from 6-10 p.m. Friday for a live call-in show on WHIO Radio.


On TV, radio and streaming, we have you covered for the inauguration ceremony Friday at noon.

Online: You can watch the inauguration live on, and

On TV: Watch complete CBS News coverage on WHIO-TV Channel 7 starting at 7 a.m.

On Radio: Listen live on AM1290 and News 95.7 WHIO. Audio streaming available at


On Facebook: We’ll have coverage all week and have discussions on the issues that pop up on our Ohio Politics Facebook page.

On Twitter: Get live updates and the latest news at @Ohio_Politics


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Audit: County ag society overpaid worker

Updated: Thursday, January 19, 2017 @ 2:39 PM
By: Josh Sweigart - Staff Writer

            Audit: County ag society overpaid worker
Montgomery County, the City of Dayton and the Montgomery County Agricultural Society have agreed in principle to a deal to sell the Montgomery County Fairgrounds to the University of Dayton and Premier Health. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The Montgomery County Agricultural Society improperly paid out unused personal and vacation leave when its office manager left in 2014, according to a state audit released Thursday.

Former office manager Debbie Long received $1,150 for 11.5 unused personal days, state auditors found, even though the agricultural society’s handbook states there is no payout given for unused personal or vacation leave.

Auditors issued a finding for recovery against Long, who repaid the agricultural society in December 2016.

Agency officials told auditors they will adhere to the handbook going forward.

The audit also found several errors on the agricultural society’s financial statements, which the agency responded with by saying it is hiring a CPA to manage its annual financial reporting.

The agricultural society operates the annual Montgomery County Fair. The agency had an annual expense budget of $644,242 in 2015, the report says.

RTA, other transit authorities could lose strike option

Updated: Monday, January 16, 2017 @ 6:10 PM
By: Will Garbe, Laura A. Bischoff - Staff Writer

Two state House Republicans intend to introduce legislation to prohibit Ohio’s public transit unions from starting strikes like the one suffered last week by the Greater Dayton RTA, the Dayton Daily News has learned.

State Reps. Mike Henne and Jeff Rezabek — both Republicans from Clayton — intend to “introduce legislation requiring transit employee unions and local transit authorities to submit to binding community arbitration,” according to an internal Ohio House memo obtained by the newspaper.

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, is also considering legislative action to revoke the union’s strike option.

“I think we need to have a discussion around the best solution to make sure this can never happen again,” said Antani, who worked to bring the parties to the table on the eve of the strike. “Just like police and fire, the RTA is an essential service for these people trying to get to work and provide a livelihood to their families.”

RELATED: Riders struggled during RTA strike

Antani has asked for draft language on a proposal to allow the governor to call and personally negotiate binding arbitration. Additionally, Antani is exploring ways to re-arrange the Greater Dayton RTA board to give the City of Dayton more appointments.

The memo from Henne illustrates the impact of strikes not only on riders, but “businesses and the local economy by preventing employees from getting to work and consumers from reaching their destinations.”

“With police and fire, we do not allow them to strike and we require them to go to binding arbitration because they provide a service that cannot be interrupted,” Henne said in an interview. “My contention is the regional transit authorities have an economic value to the community that should not be interrupted.”

Under the proposal, the union and transit authority would each select a representative in the community to negotiate on their behalf. Together, the representatives would select a mutually agreeable third party from the community as an arbiter.

Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, an umbrella organization of unions, said binding arbitration is an option already open to and used by unions. When Ohio established its collective bargaining laws in the 1980s, safety forces were mandated to use binding arbitration because their services are considered essential.

RELATED: 5 times American transit workers walked off jobs

“Strike is something the unions and workers take very seriously. It’s a last effort to come to a resolution when you have an employer not bargaining in good faith,” Burga said.

Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, said, “Nobody wants strikes. Nobody likes strikes. But when you take it off the table it tilts the balance of power in negotiations. I think there is probably a better way to deal with this issue.”

The public hasn’t always agreed with the decisions on collective bargaining made by Ohio lawmakers. In 2011, voters soundly rejected Senate Bill 5, which would have outlawed strikes by Ohio’s 360,000 public employees, eliminate binding arbitration used by police and firefighters, wipe out automatic pay increases and require workers to pay at least 15 percent of their health care costs and all of their pension contributions.

Although voters rejected that proposal, Republicans in the legislature have attempted to slowly erode worker rights ever since, according to Schiavoni.

Henne hopes the transit union legislation is better received by the public than Senate Bill 5 was in 2011.

“We failed with our legislation on Senate Bill 5,” Henne said. “It took the hammer from one person to the other in many cases. The voters told us that.”

Henne and Antani individually expressed concerns about binding arbitration, with Antani saying the practice “usually prefers one side over the other.”

Henne said he hoped his proposal will be “more palatable” than traditional arbitration.

Glenn Salyer, president of the union representing drivers and mechanics at RTA, said he prefers binding arbitration and offered RTA the option to engage in it several times.

Salyer said he would like to see all grievances settled by a third-party at a shared cost.

Who was Jeremiah Morrow, namesake of Ohio's highest bridge?

Updated: Friday, January 13, 2017 @ 5:28 PM
By: Lawrence Budd

Dozens of workers have been involved in a six-year project that cost $100 million to replace Ohio’s highest bridge, the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge across the Little Miami River on Interstate 71.

Who was the man the bridge was named after?

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• Jeremiah Morrow, one of Warren County’s most notable early statesmen, who served the state as a legislator, political leader and the ninth governor of Ohio.

• Morrow was born in Adams County, Pa., on Oct. 6, 1771. The oldest of nine children of a Scotch-Irish family, he grew up on a farm only a few miles from Gettysburg. Morrow moved to the Northwest Territory in 1795 to eventually settle in Warren County.

» READ MORE: I-71 bridge, Ohio’s tallest, nears completion after 6 years, $104M

• His neighbors elected him to the territorial legislature in 1801 as Ohio was preparing for statehood and was selected to be the state’s first U.S. Congressman following Ohio’s admittance to the Union. He also served as a U.S. Senator as well as a state senator and representative.

• He served two gubernatorial terms - elected in 1822 and 1824. In that time, he was instrumental in improving Ohio’s transportation infrastructure, which included the development of the two canal systems linking Lake Erie to the Ohio and Miami rivers.

• He also served as first president of the Little Miami Railroad from 1837 to 1845. He spent his final years at his home near Lebanon, running a saw and gristmill and participating in local politics as a township trustee, school director and superintendent of roads.

Source: Ohio Department of Transportation