130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 451  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
H. B. No. 451


Representative Pillich 

Cosponsors: Representatives Sykes, Antonio, Ashford, Barnes, Boyd, Budish, Carney, Celebrezze, Celeste, Cera, Clyde, Driehaus, Fedor, Foley, Garland, Gerberry, Goyal, Hagan, R., Heard, Letson, Luckie, Lundy, Mallory, Murray, O'Brien, Okey, Patmon, Phillips, Ramos, Reece, Slesnick, Stinziano, Szollosi, Weddington, Williams, Winburn, Yuko 



A BILL
To amend sections 121.41, 121.48, and 121.49 of the Revised Code to change the appointing process for the Inspector General, to clarify the offices over which the Inspector General has authority, and to prohibit partisan political activity by the Inspector General and employees in the office of the Inspector General.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 121.41, 121.48, and 121.49 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 121.41.  As used in sections 121.41 to 121.50 of the Revised Code:
(A) "Appropriate ethics commission" has the same meaning as in section 102.01 of the Revised Code.
(B) "Appropriate licensing agency" means a public or private entity that is responsible for licensing, certifying, or registering persons who are engaged in a particular vocation.
(C) "Person" has the same meaning as in section 1.59 of the Revised Code and also includes any officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision of the state.
(D) "State agency" has the same meaning as in section 1.60 of the Revised Code and includes the Ohio casino control commission and JobsOhio, but does not include any either of the following:
(1) The general assembly;
(2) Any court;
(3) The secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, or attorney general and their respective offices.
(E) "State employee" means any person who is an employee of a state agency, or any person who does business with the state including, only for the purposes of sections 121.41 to 121.50 of the Revised Code, the nonprofit corporation formed under section 187.01 of the Revised Code officers and employees of JobsOhio.
(F) "State officer" means any person who is elected or appointed to a public office in a state agency, including a person elected or appointed to the office of attorney general, auditor of state, secretary of state, or treasurer of state.
(G) "Wrongful act or omission" means an act or omission, committed in the course of office holding or employment, that is not in accordance with the requirements of law or such standards of proper governmental conduct as are commonly accepted in the community and thereby subverts, or tends to subvert, the process of government.
(H) "JobsOhio" has the same meaning as in section 187.01 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 121.48.  There is hereby created the office of the inspector general, to be headed by the inspector general.
The governor speaker of the house of representatives, the minority leader of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the minority leader of the senate shall appoint, by majority vote, the inspector general, subject to section 121.49 of the Revised Code and the advice and consent of the senate. The inspector general shall hold office for a term coinciding with the term of the appointing governor six years. The governor Those legislative leaders may vote to remove the inspector general from office prior to the expiration of the inspector general's term of office for gross neglect, misconduct, or dereliction of duty only after delivering written notice to the inspector general of the reasons for which the governor intends they intend to remove vote on the removal of the inspector general from office and providing the inspector general with an opportunity to appear and show cause why the inspector general should not be removed.
In addition to the duties imposed by section 121.42 of the Revised Code, the inspector general shall manage the office of the inspector general. The inspector general shall establish and maintain offices in Columbus.
The inspector general may employ and fix the compensation of one or more deputy inspectors general. Each deputy inspector general shall serve for a term coinciding with the term of the appointing inspector general, and shall perform the duties, including the performance of investigations, that are assigned by the inspector general. All deputy inspectors general are in the unclassified service and serve at the pleasure of the inspector general.
In addition to deputy inspectors general, the inspector general may employ and fix the compensation of professional, technical, and clerical employees that are necessary for the effective and efficient operation of the office of the inspector general. All professional, technical, and clerical employees of the office of the inspector general are in the unclassified service and serve at the pleasure of the appointing inspector general. All employees of the inspector general are prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity, as described in division (B) of section 121.49 of the Revised Code, in the same manner as the inspector general is prohibited from engaging in those activities.
The inspector general may enter into any contracts that are necessary to the operation of the office of the inspector general. The contracts may include, but are not limited to, contracts for the services of persons who are experts in a particular field and whose expertise is necessary to the successful completion of an investigation.
Not later than the first day of March in each year, the inspector general shall publish an annual report summarizing the activities of the inspector general's office during the previous calendar year. The annual report shall not disclose the results of any investigation insofar as the results are designated as confidential under section 121.44 of the Revised Code.
The inspector general shall provide copies of the inspector general's annual report to the governor and the general assembly. The inspector general also shall provide a copy of the annual report to any other person who requests the copy and pays a fee prescribed by the inspector general. The fee shall not exceed the cost of reproducing and delivering the annual report.
Sec. 121.49.  (A)(1) Subject to division (B)(A)(2) of this section, only an individual who meets one or more of the following qualifications is eligible to be appointed inspector general:
(1)(a) At least five years experience as a law enforcement officer in this or any other state;
(2)(b) Admission to the bar of this or any other state;
(3)(c) Certification as a certified public accountant in this or any other state;
(4)(d) At least five years service as the comptroller or similar officer of a public or private entity in this or any other state.
(B)(2) No individual who has been convicted, in this or any other state, of a felony or of any crime involving fraud, dishonesty, or moral turpitude shall be appointed inspector general.
(B) The inspector general shall not, directly or indirectly, orally or by letter, solicit or receive, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting or receiving, any assessment, subscription, or contribution for any political party or for any candidate for public office; nor shall the inspector general solicit directly or indirectly, orally or by letter, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting, any such assessment, contribution, or payment from any officer or employee in the classified service of the state, the several counties, cities, or city school districts of the state, or the civil service townships of the state; nor shall the inspector general be an officer in any political organization or take part in politics other than to vote as the inspector general pleases and to express freely political opinions.
Political activities prohibited under this division include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Candidacy for public office in a partisan election;
(2) Candidacy for public office in a nonpartisan general election if the nomination to candidacy was obtained in a partisan primary or through the circulation of nominating petitions identified with a political party;
(3) Filing of petitions meeting statutory requirements for partisan candidacy to elective office;
(4) Circulation of official nominating petitions for any candidate participating in a partisan election;
(5) Service in an elected or appointed office in any partisan political organization;
(6) Acceptance of a party-sponsored appointment to any office normally filled by partisan election;
(7) Campaigning by writing for publications, by distributing political material, or by writing or making speeches on behalf of a candidate for partisan elective office, when such activities are directed toward party success;
(8) Solicitation, either directly or indirectly, of any assessment, contribution, or subscription, either monetary or in-kind, for any political party or political candidate;
(9) Solicitation of the sale, or actual sale, of political party tickets;
(10) Partisan activities at the election polls, such as solicitation of votes for other than nonpartisan candidates and nonpartisan issues;
(11) Service as an election observer for any party or partisan committee;
(12) Participation in political caucuses of a partisan nature;
(13) Participation in a political action committee that supports partisan activity;
(14) Attending any partisan fundraising event;
(15) Participating in any campaign activity, such as preparing mailings; and
(16) Making contributions to a partisan candidate.
Section 2. That existing sections 121.41, 121.48, and 121.49 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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