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Justice O'Neill Says the Ohio Senate Vote to Remove Him is 'Great Exposure'

BILL O'NEILL
TIFFANY O'NEILL SCULLEN
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The only Democrat on the Ohio Supreme Court is speaking out after the Republican-dominated Ohio Senate voted yesterday to take the first step to remove him from the bench. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler talked with Justice Bill O’Neill about the action Senators took.

O’Neill says there’s nothing in state law that prevents him from running for governor as a sitting Supreme Court justice, which denators brought up in debate on the resolution. But he says he hasn’t filed his official paperwork yet anyway. O’Neill confirms he’ll leave office next Friday when his resignation takes effect. And O’Neill says the vote on the resolution was completely political.

“They don’t want me to be the governor, so this is their parting shot, and I welcome it. My platform got great exposure yesterday.”  

All Senate Republicans voted for the resolution, and were joined by Joe Schiavoni, who will face O’Neill in the Democratic primary for governor. But for the action to proceed the House would have to pass it, too, and Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says he doesn’t intend to consider it.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.