The Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Lodge 117, denounced a political advertisement that members said was intended to benefit State Rep. J. Todd Smith’s, R-Jackson Twp., campaign and has issued a message of support for the Brookville police officers.
In the ad, Dan Foley, sitting Montgomery County commissioner and Democratic candidate for the Ohio House 43rd District, was depicted as an impaired driver by Hardworking Ohioans, Inc., a political action committee which paid for the commercial.
Foley received a speeding ticket, but did not face charges related to any potential impaired driving.
Foley, a Democrat, was pulled over June 23 by Brookville Police for driving 44 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone, according to police records. Foley said he told the officer that he had had one beer earlier that day. Foley said he passed a field sobriety test, was ticketed for speeding and paid his fine a few days later.
“ I was wrong to speed, and paid the ticket in a timely manner, ” Foley said in a written statement issued last week. “I thank the officer for his service and for following all protocol to keep our community safe. I was disappointed to see my opponent’s allies attack this officer’s reputation and accuse him of a crime.”
The ad uses dash-cam police video that was produced in a manner that projects an image of the Brookville Police Department as corrupt, according to the FOP.
Past FOP President John DiPietro said in a statement Sunday, "As Representative Smith claims he was unaware of the ad, or as reported by Dayton Daily News (Oct. 30th) he called it a 'surprise,' then why is he not at the front doors of the Brookville Police Department apologizing?"
“This style of politics is best left in Washington DC, not in Montgomery and Preble counties,” DiPietro’s statement said.
Members of the FOP demanded an apology from Smith and asked him to take action to stop the ad, according to the statement.
“The Brookville FOP are absolutely right to demand an apology,” Foley said. “What my opponent’s backers did – spending $200,000 on false TV ads attacking the integrity of Brookville PD in order to score political points on me – is why people are angry and cynical about politics. What they did was factually and morally wrong.”
Smith had earlier said the ad came as a surprise to him but he did not respond to a request for comment on the FOP demand for an apology.
The Ohio House 43rd is the most competitive Ohio House race in the region this election cycle.
Smith won the Republican primary for the 43rd state House seat in May and was appointed to the seat when former state Rep. Jeff Rezabek , R-Clayton, resigned to become a juvenile judge in Montgomery County.
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