May 6, 2013, Beavercreek, Ohio: The Ohio Elections Commission set May 30th as the date for the preliminary hearing on John Mitchel’s complaint against Beavercreek City Council, some City employees and Sherman Benson, Treasurer for the Committee for Tax Equity, a pro-Income Tax Political Action Committee (PAC). The Commission will address alleged violations of O.R.C. Sections 3517.1011 and 9.03 which cover illegal electioneering communications and illegal use of public funds to influence an election. The new information came from the Committee on Tax Equity’s pre-election finance report that listed Mayor Vicki Giambrone, City Attorney Steve McHugh, and Council Member Scott Hadley, among others, in City government as contributors to the pro-Income Tax PAC.
In response to the disclosure Mitchel commented, “This information takes my complaint to a whole new level. It’s bad enough that Mayor Giambrone and Council Members Brian Jarvis and Jerry Petrak contributed to the pro-Income Tax PAC, but City Attorney McHugh’s contibution of $500 and Scott Hadley’s in-kind contribution of $500 in printing costs crosses the line, in my opinion. With this new information, I don’t see how the Elections Commission can avoid a formal hearing on the matter.” Mitchel added, “If nothing else, unless Mr. McHugh, Mr. Hadley and other respondents hire their own attorneys this will cost taxpayers even more money has City Attorney McHugh has now disqualified himself to act as statutory defense counsel for himself and the other respondents.”