Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rep. John Widowfield Stepping Down Due to Improprieties

Akron Beacon Journal is reporting tonight:

    State Rep. John Widowfield, R-Cuyahoga Falls, is expected to resign from his legislative seat following accusations that he purchased Ohio State University football tickets with campaign funds and sold them for a profit.

    Widowfield did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment Tuesday and today. He signed for gas mileage reimbursement for the week and attended a committee hearing in the morning, but was not at the House session in the afternoon.

    Sources told the Beacon Journal that Widowfield sold the football tickets over the Internet for more than their face value, and pocketed the profits.

    Widowfield's financial disclosure forms for the past two years list only his legislative salary and interest on checking and annuity accounts as sources of income.

Some reminders about John Widowfield. He ran unsuccessfully last year for Cuyahoga Falls Muni Clerk. Despite still having a term to go before bumping up against term limits, he is not running for re-election, he instead is running for the one spot on County Council currently occupied by a Republican.

He's also an Alex crony. Louise Heydorn, the woman he beat in the primary for County Council (as the Republican endorsee) is married to one of the attorneys who represented Kevin Coughlin in the Elephant Wars. And Widowfield famously did Alex's bidding as the county lobbied for new common pleas judgeships, even as the ABJ chanted "Who's yer daddy?" In sum, it looked like Alex has been looking for a soft landing for a valuable tool who hasn't done well in Columbus.

Meanwhile, Mike Moran has been mounting a strong challenge for his seat. Since Widowfield was already standing down, this changes the dynamic of that race but little. I believe the party gets to pick his replacement, but let me get back to you on that. If so, Robart Jr. will be running as a sort of incumbent. || UPDATE: I had forgotten that the younger Robart was upset in the primary by one Richard Nero. The replacement gets appointed by the House Republican Caucus. It would be interesting to see if Alex tries to orchestrate a coup of sorts and get Robart appointed and on the ballot. END UPDATE || On the other hand, the Republicans will have a harder time imposing their announced strategy of tying Dem candidates to recently disgraced Dems, at least in this race.

As for County Council, that's probably the least of his worries right now. From the looks of it, he's probably guilty of at least two campaign law violations.

Thus endeth the state career of Ohio's laziest legislator.


Ben said...

Good info here on what might happen next. Thanks Scott.

And thanks Alex for running Widowfield against Heydorn. Good one.

Mencken said...

Widowfield himself has been sold by Alex for more than face value for years. Who knew he could have been had so cheaply?

Anonymous said...

NOw he's a manager on the railroad for csx transportation in Chicago. Gotta love it. GUy is an idiot.