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Micnart C. O?MALLEY CUYAHOGA COUNTY PROSECUTOR May 5, 2017 ‘The Honorable Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General Opinions Section 30 East Broad Street, 15" Floor Columbus, Ohio 43215 Re: Request for Attorney General Opinion Dear Attomey General DeWine: As you know, Ohio prosecuting attomeys are the statutory legal advisers to the various county board of elections pursuant to R.C. 309.09(A). In Cuyahoga County, a candidate protest filed recently pursuant to R.C. 3513.05 raises issues that I believe may present matters of statewide concern warranting consideration by your office, In particular, the issues presented are whether an individual's felony conviction for Hobbs Act extortion in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951 thereafter disqualifies that individual from ever running for and holding an elective office pursuant to R.C. 2961.01; and whether the rights forfeited by such a federal felony extortion conviction may be restored by way of state remedies, including but not necessarily limited to the relief available under R.C, 2953.32, o whether that federal felony extortion conviction, if committed by a public servant, constitutes “bribery” that would forever disqualify the individual from holding any public office, employment or position of trust in Ohio pursuant to R.C. 2921.02(H). While my office would ordinarily advise our board of elections upon request for legal advice, the fact that these questions present issues particularly well-suited to your office's role in advising prosecuting attomeys causes me to conclude that an authorit ion from your office would be preferable and would avoid any issue or suggestion of conflict of interest or bias. For these reasons, I respectfully request that you assign an Assistant Attorney General to serve as Special Counsel who may advise the Board of Elections on the issues presented by this protest. You should be advised that the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has currently scheduled a hearing on the protest for Monday, May 15, 2017. The election for which the candidacy has been challenged, however, is not scheduled to occur until September 2017, OFFICE OF THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY Justice Center + Courts Tower * 1200 Ontario Street * Cleveland, Ohio 44113 (216) 443-7800 + FAX: (216) 698-2270 + Ohio Relay Service 711 + hitp:/prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us 22 Page 2 of 2 | am reasonably confident that the Board of Elections would be receptive under these circumstances to a reasonable request to reschedule the protest hearing to a date after May 15, 2017 and that such a continuance would not cause prejudice to any party interested in the protest. Ifyou have any questions concerning the foregoing, please do not hesitate to contact me. Very truly yours, Michael C. "Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney