Ex-State Rep. Clayton Luckie’s escort pushes reporter as lawmaker booked in jail

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 4:42 PM
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 @ 7:20 PM

Former state lawmaker Clayton Luckie turned himself in at the Franklin County Jail on Monday to begin a three-year prison sentence for misusing roughly $130,000 from his campaign account while serving in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Luckie walked into the jail lobby in downtown Columbus shortly after 4 p.m. and took immediate action to avoid being photographed or videotaped by the Dayton Daily News.

Luckie’s escort, who did not identify himself, pushed the Daily News reporter out of the way, blocked the camera with his body and his jacket and spat his gum at the reporter while Luckie checked in at the desk.

Luckie, 49, did nothing to stop his escort from behaving this way.

Luckie, a Dayton Democrat, pleaded guilty to six counts of election falsification, one count of money laundering, one count of grand theft, and one misdemeanor count of filing a false ethics statement.

He also agreed to pay back the $11,893 in state salary that he received from his indictment in October and the end of his legislative term Dec. 31. And he promised to cooperate with the FBI and prosecutors in ongoing investigations, which will be considered if and when Luckie asks for early release.

Luckie is also banned from running for or holding elective office for five years and he faces three years of probation after his prison release.

Investigators found that Luckie used his campaign account between 2006 and 2012 to write $9,825 in checks to himself, make 169 cash withdrawals totaling $19,000 and conduct 800 debit card transactions totaling almost $40,000. The spending sprees included ATM withdrawals at casinos, a payment on a home equity line of credit, and purchases at Morris Home Furnishings, Weber Jewelers, Nordstrom, Lowe’s, Babies R Us and other retailers.

Luckie, a 1981 graduate of Chaminade-Juliene High School, spent 10 years on the Dayton school board before he was appointed to the 39th District Ohio House seat in November 2006. He won election in 2008 and 2010 by wide margins and seemed to be a shoo-in for another two-year term. The district represents most of the city of Dayton.

The Daily News, though, reported in August that Luckie was under criminal investigation, prompting local Democrats to press him to withdraw his name from the November ballot. In October, the newspaper was first in the state to report that the criminal case was landing in court. In January, Luckie took a plea deal and apologized to Ohioans, family members and others, saying he takes responsibility for his actions but at the same time he attributed the mistakes to trying to do too much at once.

Mandel ran state-funded ads in months before launching Senate run

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

Mandel ran state-funded ads in months before launching Senate run

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has led the charge for publicizing a new investment program for families with special needs programs, and launched a $1.3 million TV ad campaign featuring himself and Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer to promote the program.

But a watchdog group says the ads, which have run statewide, may have a hidden motive: promoting Mandel’s political ambitions. He launched the ad campaign months before announcing his second run against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

To learn more about the ads and how Mandel used state money to pay for them, click here.

Sen Portman plans to back Gorsuch for Supreme Court

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 6:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 6:54 PM

By Jessica Wehrman

Washington Bureau

Sen. Rob Portman says he will back Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

The two met Wednesday in Portman’s office in what the Ohio Republican called “an engaging and productive meeting.”

“I expressed my belief that the job of a Supreme Court justice is to fairly and impartially apply the law, and to protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not to legislate from the bench,” he said. “I believe that is exactly what he will do should he be confirmed to this important position. Judge Gorsuch has an outstanding record as a fair-minded, independent, and universally-respected judge, and, after today’s meeting, I join others in offering him my support.”

Portman previously met with then-President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court – Merrick Garland – but joined other Republicans in blocking that nomination. Portman argued at the time it would be better to wait until after the presidential election to pick a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died more than a year ago in Texas.

Cursive handwriting could be required for Ohio students again
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New executive director of the Ohio Republicans a former Turner aide

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 8:56 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 8:58 AM

New executive director of the Ohio Republicans a former Turner aide

A former aide to U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, has been named executive director of the Ohio Republican Party.

Party Chairman Jane Timken named Rob Secaur of Columbus to the post.

“Ohio Republicans will be well served by Rob’s invaluable campaign and political experience,” Timken said. “With critical election cycles ahead of us, I am confident that our new executive director will play a key role in maintaining record Republican majorities in the Buckeye State.”

In January Timken won the party chairmanship after a battle with then-chairman Matt Borges.

After two rounds of secret voting resulted in a deadlock, Timken emerged as the winner after a deal was struck in a backroom to make Timken chairman and name Borges chairman emeritus, which is a new post.

Trump backed Timken while Ohio Gov. John Kasich supported Borges for re-election.

Related: Donald Trump defeats John Kasich in fight for Ohio Republican Party leadership

Related: Trump/Kasich sides in showdown over Ohio GOP chairman

Secaur oversaw the Republican National Committee’s grassroots campaign efforts for the presidential campaign as state director in Ohio. In 2011 he was Turner’s campaign manager and served as a state party field director in 2010. He was Warren County Victory director for the state party in 2010-2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Secaur previously worked in Michigan and Kentucky on political campaigns and in the office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY.

Secaur has a master’s degree in Professional Studies in Political Management from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Louisville.

Secaur replaces Katie Eagan as state party executive director.

                         

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Ohio lawmakers react to resignation of Michael Flynn

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 6:58 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 6:58 PM


            Ohio lawmakers react to resignation of Michael Flynn

Sen. Sherrod Brown said former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn made the right decision to resign his post, saying his apparent discussions with a Russian official about U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia “were wrong.”

RELATED: Michael Flynn resigns: 5 things to know

In a statement today, Brown, D-Ohio, said Flynn was “unqualified from day one” because of his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia Today, a TV network controlled by the Russian government. In 2015, Flynn was paid to attend a Russia Today gala in Moscow.

Before Donald Trump was sworn in as president last month, Flynn spoke to Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn originally said he did not discuss the U.S. sanctions with Kislyak, but acknowledged Monday he provided Vice President Mike Pence and other Trump officials with “incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador.”

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a conference call with Ohio reporters today that “it was appropriate for” Flynn “to step down.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said he is concerned about what he sees are continuing attacks on the new administration.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton reacts to Flynn resignation

“I’m very concerned. Obviously, this is an issue where unnamed sources continue to attack people in the administration. Their names are never known, there positions are never known, and we never get to bottom of what the information is and where it’s coming from,” Turner said.

“In this, I think Gen. Flynn has made his own personal decision. He certainly has a very strong and illustrious career. I think the administration is now going to have to undertake a search for someone who has both national stature and an ability to advise the president.”

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