Prosecutor rejects Ohio lawmaker’s request for Gov. DeWine’s arrest

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 2:03 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - The same Republican state lawmaker who drafted articles of impeachment against Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine filed a private citizen affidavit against the governor, including charges of terrorism and inducing panic.

However, a reviewing prosecutor dismissed the charges brought by State Rep. John Becker almost immediately, and a spokesperson for Gov. DeWine called the move “absurd,” according to The Associated Press.

The charges, which included seven felonies, could have called for Gov. DeWine’s arrest. The charges were engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; complicity; terrorism; making terroristic threats; inducing panic; conspiracy; bribery; interfering with civil rights; coercion, and patient abuse or neglect.

The charges stem from DeWine’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a statewide mask mandate. In a release, Becker said DeWine promoted fear in multiple ways, including required social distancing, color-coded metrics, and reporting of “irrelevant” COVID cases. Becker, from the Cincinnati area, also said DeWine caused “serious public inconvenience or alarm” when he postponed the March 17 primary election.

“I never wanted to go down the road of impeachment and certainly never considered criminal charges against Governor DeWine,” Becker said. “The governor simply isn’t getting the message that the people’s liberties need to be respected and a governor has no right to assume imperial and dictatorial powers without regard to any alleged emergency.”

Becker also added, “When Governor DeWine is arrested, I sincerely hope that he is wearing a mask and doesn’t get tasered before being dragged off to jail like the Marietta football mom in Logan.”

But since Clermont County prosecutor Vincent Faris rejected the complaint, Gov. DeWine will not be arrested.

“If this were serious, I would have a comment. Because it is patently absurd, I do not,” DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney told the AP.

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