By Tom Blumer | Special to Ohio Watchdog
State Rep. Clayton Luckie, D-Dayton, who is still living on the taxpayer’s dime, should resign.
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, reported Andrew J. Tobias at the Dayton Daily News last week.
The alleged offenses are felonies. “FBI investigators and prosecutors” pressured Luckie to resign in July.
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 more than four months. Tobias notes that he “has been a no-show at state functions since July 9,” and as of last week, he had missed four consecutive sessions at the Ohio House.
In the meantime, Luckie has collected or stands to collect almost half 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 re-election, 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 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 Dec. 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.