State Representative Luckie Indicted Following FBI Investigation
State Representative Clayton Luckie II of Dayton has been indicted by Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien on 49 charges stemming from six years of alleged election falsification and theft from his campaign account. His October 10 arrest comes as a result of an ongoing FBI investigation, two months after Luckie, a Democrat, abruptly ended his bid for a fourth term in the Ohio House.
On August 9, two days before withdrawing from the 39th District race, Luckie claimed he had “discovered some errors on some reports that are currently being addressed,” refusing to elaborate further. The indictment suggests Luckies alleged crimes are far more serious than “some errors on some reports.”
According to a release from OBrien’s office, Luckie used his campaign account as a personal slush fund from 2006-2012, diverting nearly $130,000 to a personal checking account. The FBI alleges that Luckie withdrew $19,000 in campaign funds from ATMs and made nearly $40,000 in debit card transactions, spending thousands from his campaign account at casinos, Morris Home Furnishings, Weber Jewelry, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Famous Footwear, and other retail stores.
In addition to the multiple Theft in Office allegations, the indictment charges Luckie with more than 20 counts of Election Falsification for failing to report campaign expenses – and reporting nonexistent campaign expenses – starting with his 2006 campaign and continuing through this year.
In 2011, Luckie allegedly deposited a $625 check made out to the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) into his personal checking account. A dozen separate transactions carry Money Laundering charges, and Luckie’s alleged crimes also led to one charge of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity – a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison.
An hour and a half after a warrant was issued for his arrest on October 10, Luckie surrendered to FBI agents in Columbus and was taken to a local hospital after falling unconscious during his processing in the Franklin County Jail.
Luckie is the second member of the OLBC to face serious criminal charges as a result of the FBI investigation into the group’s activity. W. Carlton Weddington, a former state representative and OLBC member from Columbus, was sentenced in June 2012 to three years in prison for bribery.
State Senator Shirley Smith, an OLBC member from Cleveland, requested a full audit of the groups finances in June in connection with the Weddington case and general transparency concerns. However, Smith declined an opportunity to review OLBC records in August out of fear she could harm President Obama’s reelection chances.
In an August interview with the Plain Dealer, Smith said her proposed audit “wouldve opened up a can of worms that wouldve taken the attention off the Barack campaign for many people. I would rather just leave it alone when the president, especially an African-American president, has so much at stake in Ohio.”
Speaker of the House William Batchelder issued a statement calling for Luckie to step down “immediately,” saying that “given the news of the charges against Clayton Luckie and the circumstances of the case, it is my belief that it is in the best interest of the Ohio House of Representatives and the people of the 39th District for him to resign from the House.”