In response to a recent report in The Plain Dealer that former County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora’s lawyers cut a deal with federal prosecutors that requires him to forfeit his commissioner’s pension valued at $122,383, State Representative Mike Dovilla (R-Berea), a primary sponsor of House Bill 323, anti-public corruption legislation pending before the Ohio legislature, released the following statement:

This past week, the residents of Cuyahoga County witnessed one of the worst types of betrayal of public trust a democracy can endure: public officials who are shameless enough to enrich themselves at taxpayer expense, only to find a golden parachute at the end of a criminal investigation and conviction. At a time when Cleveland families are hit by high gas prices and a bleak employment market, we should not saddle them with funding the pensions of corrupt public officials. The fact that Jimmy Dimora was able to use his public pension as a bargaining chip for reduced jail time or other benefits is not only sickening but is a blemish on our democracy. House Bill 323 would automatically strip public officials who are convicted of extortion and perjury from being eligible for their taxpayer-funded pensions. It is my hope that the Ohio General Assembly swiftly enacts this legislation to prevent further miscarriages of justice.

Amended House Bill 323, co-sponsored by eleven members of the House of Representatives, was favorably reported by the Committee on Criminal Justice on January 25, 2012, and awaits a vote by the full House


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