November 27, 2012

Clayton Luckie should resign

Filed under: Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:10 pm

Still collecting state pay.

This post went up with some editing at Watchdog.org on Wednesday.

State Representative Clayton Luckie (D-Dayton), who is still living on the taxpayer’s dime, should resign.

Two weeks ago, at the Dayton Daily News, Andrew J. Tobias reported that Luckie, who was indicted in October “on 49 criminal counts accusing him of raiding $130,000 from his campaign account and spending it at places such as casinos, and furniture, jewelry and clothing stores,” is still on the state payroll.

The alleged offenses are felonies. “FBI investigators and prosecutors” pressured Luckie to resign in July. He refused. Both Republicans and Democrats have since called for his resignation. It hasn’t happened.

Unlucky taxpayers are shelling out money and getting virtually nothing in return. Luckie has not been representing his constituents for over four months. Tobias notes that he “has been a no-show at state functions since July 9,” and that as of last week had missed four straight sessions at the Ohio House. In the meantime, he has collected or stands to collect almost a half-year of his $68,000 annual salary for the state representative job he hasn’t been performing. Since early July he has received $21,000, and stands to collect $11,000 more before his term ends.

Luckie’s office lamely defends itself by pointing to instances of constituent service which any replacement representative’s staff could and would be doing. At least he saved his party serious embarrassment by withdrawing his bid for reelection, which he could conceivably have won, given how reflexively Democratic House District 39′s voting pattern is.

Though Luckie has pleaded not guilty to the charges involved and his attorney is attempting to throw out 30 of the 49 counts on technical grounds, the chances in a finance-oriented case such as this one that the FBI and prosecutors don’t have enough evidence to obtain a conviction when his trial begins on December 20 appear to be infinitesimal. There’s no reason to believe that they wouldn’t be proceeding with their case unless they had all their prosecutorial ducks in a row. This led a Common Cause spokesperson quoted by Tobias to assert that Luckie’s conduct “just suggests that, hey I need a paycheck.”

Well, Ohio’s taxpayers would surely want to see the money used for far more worthy purposes.

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