Gerberry resignation: Explanation, reaction

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – After serving 27 years in the Ohio General Assembly, 59th District Representative Ron Gerberry is resigning this month.

A statement released by the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office on Tuesday claims the Gerberry filed false campaign finance reports with the Ohio Secretary of State. Since then, authorities in Columbus and Mahoning County have been working with the attorney general on the case. Although neither Gerberry nor his lawyer would discuss the matter, WKBN reporter Gerry Ricciutti has been told that a hearing is expected this month where Gerberry would plead to a charge of receiving improper compensation.

Sources claim Gerberry sent thousands of dollars from his campaign fund to a media consultant between 2009 and 2012 but never intended to purchase advertising as claimed on his disclosure forms. Instead, the money was returned to the campaign. Aside from the resignation letter and the prosecutor’s statement, no one in either the attorney general’s office, the local prosecutor, or the state’s Joint Legislative Ethics Commission would talk about the case.

Mahoning County Republican Party Chairman Mark Munroe showed WKBN a list of local Democrat officeholders who’ve come under investigation over the years, urging anyone wanting to see change to file their own campaign petitions by the December 16th deadline to get on next spring’s primary ballot.

Munroe says, “Until we start electing better people to public office, this is just going to continue”. He continues, “And by God we need to find good people to step up and run for office because to the extent that good people don’t get involved, bad things happen.”

Former Ohio Representative John Boccieri is reportedly a candidate to replace Gerberry. Boccieri sent WKBN the following statement:

Like so many people in our community, I’m shocked and saddened by the news with Rep Gerberry…I’m honored to be considered and never closed the door on serving our community again…I will discuss this opportunity to serve with my family, but we need to let the the process take its course.

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