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Ohio


Grand jury indicts powerful Ohio lawmaker, again
UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: Beck is resigning his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee following his indictment today.

Peter Beck now nearly 70 charges, including racketeering

by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Peter Beck taking the oath of office
Courtesy of State of Ohio
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UPDATE 4:37 p.m.: Beck is resigning his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee following his indictment today.

Dozens more charges have been filed against a powerful state lawmaker and his co-conspirators.
WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the growing legal troubles of southwest Ohio state Rep. Peter Beck.

LISTEN: New charges against Beck

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Peter Beck is 63, a CPA, and chairman of the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee. Since last July he’s also been fighting 16 criminal charges and calls for his resignation from – among others – fellow Republicans.

Here's a statement issues by Republican Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder today:
“After consultation with Representative Beck, we have mutually agreed that it would be in the best interest of the House for him to relinquish his chairmanship of the House Ways & Means Committee effective immediately. There are several important initiatives currently being considered by this committee that must continue uninterrupted. These are proposals that will have a long-standing impact on the state of Ohio, and all Ohioans can rest assured that the House will continue the hardworking effort on these initiatives.
“While I do not have the sole authority to remove any member of House, it is still my belief that it is in the best interest of Representative Beck, his family, and the constituents of the 54th House District for him to resign.
"As I said previously, while there is always a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise, it is my belief that these very serious allegations could cause a distraction to the good work of the Ohio House of Representatives and the needs of the residents of Warren and Butler counties.”

A Hamilton County grand jury has now added 53 new charges, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, aggravated theft, fraud, receiving stolen property and perjury.

 All are related to an Ohio software company called Christopher Technologies, also known as CTech. Beck was chief financial officer of the company, and he’s accused of misleading investors and misdirecting as much as $1.2 million of their money. 

The company president, John Fussner, also had been indicted earlier. The new charges cover a longer period and also name TML Consulting of Cincinnati and the Ark by the River Fellowship Ministries of Cincinnati. A civil suit says investors’ money was used for personal expenses and donated to the Ark and to Beck’s political campaign.

Beck has pleaded not guilty. 

Beck is the third state lawmaker indicted over the last two years. The other two – both Democrats – resigned and went to prison.

Here's a link to the superseding indictment involving Peter Beck:
http://www.dispatch.com/content/downloads/2014/02/Peter-Beck-additional-indictments.PDF 

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