Posts in Ethics.

During the Ohio Ethics Commission's first meeting of 2024, the Commission reviewed staff reports on its activity in 2023.

In its 2022 Annual Report, the Ohio Ethics Commission provides statistics and lists on several of the Commission’s activities for the year including a breakdown of the top five categories for investigations last year.

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and returns to the new normal, in-person conferences have also returned from their hiatus. Accordingly, it is an appropriate time to review ethics laws regarding public officials and employees at conferences. 

In its 2021 Annual Report, the Ohio Ethics Commission provides statistics and lists on several of the Commission’s activities for the year including a breakdown of the top five categories for investigations last year.

In its January 26, 2022, press release, the Ohio Ethics Commission is urging the Ohio General Assembly to enact enhanced penalties for persons or entities convicted of giving unlawful gifts or payments to any public official or employee in Ohio state or local government. 

Many companies like to send small holiday gifts or tokens of appreciation to valued customers, clients and contacts. The question is, does your company’s list of recipients include any public officials or employees? Then you better watch out (and maybe consider checking that list twice).

Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio House Bill (H.B.) 2 into law on Monday, May 17, 2021. H.B. 2 was drafted similarly to H.B. 13 from the last general assembly. H.B. 2 creates the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program.

On October 2, 2020, the Ohio Ethics Commission issued formal Advisory Opinion No. 2020 – 03, addressing ethics questions about public officials attending ceremonial events.

The Ohio Ethics Commission recently issued Advisory Opinion No. 2020-02 outlining prohibitions under the Ohio Ethics Law related to confidential information and executive sessions. The opinion answers whether ORC 102.03(B) prohibits a present or former public official from disclosing information discussed during executive ...

On March 27, 2020, the Ohio Ethics Commission announced the extension of the filing deadline for 2019 Financial Disclosure Statement forms to July 15, 2020, the same as federal and state tax filing dates. 

The Joint Legislative Ethics Committee (JLEC) recently gave guidance that lobbyists and employers must "affirmatively invite" all members of the General Assembly or all members of the House of Senate to qualify as an "all invited" event for reporting purposes. 

An Ohio law that prohibits campaign spies was challenged in federal court by Project Veritas, a non-profit organization that describes itself as engaging “almost exclusively in undercover journalism to report to the public about instances of corruption, fraud, waste and abuse.” 

A yearlong investigation involving the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the IRS resulted in the indictment of Steve Stenger, St. Louis County Executive. 

With 2019 legislative sessions underway in both Columbus and Washington, D.C., state and federal lobbying and campaign finance regulators have issued new reporting calendars and contribution limits for the current biennium. Staying up to date on these limits and deadlines is important for anyone participating in the political process.

The Ohio Ethics Commission offers several training opportunities to help public officials and employees comply with the law. CLE credit is available.

It’s summer time, which for commuters means one thing…orange cone season. That’s right, with warmer weather comes an increase of construction, groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies. Because a ribbon cutting or groundbreaking ceremony usually attracts one or more government officials, potentially triggering issues with ...

As fair season approaches, public officials must remember that accepting fair passes (for themselves or their immediate family) totaling in excess of $25 must be reported.

The latest edition of "The Voice of Ethics," provided by the Ohio Ethics Commission, contains many good reminders for private sector companies that do business with state or local government.

While false statements are no longer actionable in the election arena, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can, and recently has, targeted telemarketers involved in allegedly deceptive solicitations.

Avoiding conflicts of interest a challenge when most public officials, especially those at the local level, hold private employment, own businesses and have family in the community. 

The Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) recently released its Spring 2017 “The Voice of Ethics” publication. 

According to a recent Ohio Inspector General report, Alan Atalah, a professor and associate dean at Bowling Green State University, was investigated after “erotic literature” was found on his state-owned computer. 

A new kind of “political” entity that is leaving potential contributors skeptical and disappointed has recently emerged -- a "Scam PAC."

The Supreme Court of Ohio announced several changes to the Code of Judicial Conduct.

The Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) recently held its annual conference, and one panel presented a survey of reported compliance issues from 2016. The top five enforcement actions reported in 2016 were revealed and discussed.

Lots of things went wrong in the case of former Judge Steven Jones Terry, who was convicted on several felony charges, sentenced to over five years in prison and permanently disbarred from the practice of law.

As the holidays quickly approach, ‘tis the season for companies to shower their clients, colleagues and partners with tokens of their appreciation. While the spirit of giving is a welcome tradition in the private sector, gifts can lead to unnecessary stress for public employees and officials.

If you struggle with getting employees to disclose conflicts of interest, there may be different reasons as to why that is happening.

Bilal Shehu of New jersey pleaded guilty to funneling $80,000 from overseas into campaign contributions.

The chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey got in trouble when he and the lobbyist for United Airlines teamed up to make sure the chairman's trip to his vacation home was more convenient.

Anju Vallabhaneni, former CEO of Ohio-based United Software Group, and Jatinder Singh, a former solution manager for the State of Ohio, were recently indicted for their participation in a complex wire fraud and conspiracy scheme.

The Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) recently published the third quarter issue of its "The Voice of Ethics" newsletter. The issue focuses on Ohio's ethics laws and the private sector. Read the full issue here.

Many public officials maintain outside employment, sometimes at nonprofit corporations that receive financial support from the public agencies they serve. In response to a number of questions it has received over the years, the Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) recently issued Advisory Opinion No. 2016-01 to offer guidance for public officials who ...

Nonprofit organizations that seek to advance the political or social agendas of political candidates must be careful to keep their distance from those candidates. 

In preparation for the conventions, both state and federal agencies have stepped up their communication of related rules, regulations and guidelines.

Who qualifies as a lobbyist? Is a political consultant a lobbyist? What about someone with a public relations firm?

Understanding the definition of a lobbyist under state law and, additionally, who must register and complete lobbyist filings is an important consideration for both lobbyists and their employers and clients. In January 2016, the ...

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