On April 10, Rep. Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) announced his resignation as the Ohio Speaker of the House of Representatives after hiring an attorney amid reports of the FBI looking into his spending and traveling.
Rosenberger originally announced to resign on May 1, but has since decided to resign effective immediately. State Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) will act as interim speaker until members hold a leadership election.
“First and foremost, I believe that all of my actions as Speaker have been both ethical and lawful. However, I understand that the nature of this inquiry has the potential to be very demanding and intensive, and could take months or even years to resolve,” Rosenberger said in a written statement.
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Rosenberger acknowledged in the statement that Ohioans deserve elected leaders who are able to devote their undivided attention to issues facing the state.
Rosenberger frequently traveled to places such as Los Angeles, France, Israel and England that were paid for out of campaign funds or by outside groups, according to Cleveland.com. It is reported that the FBI specifically is looking into his trip to London in August 2017 where Rosenberg was accompanied by lobbyists.
It is legal for Rosenberger to pay for work-related travel through his campaign fund, the House GOP’s political operation or with a scholarship from an outside group, according to Cincinnati.com. However, he must disclose the travel and cannot accept the gift of a trip in exchange for legislative favors.
Rosenberger has not been subpoenaed or told he was under investigation.
Information is not yet publicly available regarding whether any other state congressman had received subpoenas.
Both Republicans and Democrats are interested if Rosenberger’s resignation will have any effect on the Republican majority and governorship after the November election.
Republicans have held the governor’s office for 23 of the past 27 years, the Ohio house for 21 of the past 23 years and the Ohio Senate since 1985.
Photo taken from WOSU.org.