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2018ELC-02

TO:    Derek S. Clinger, Esq.


You have requested an advisory opinion on the following question:

Is an elected public official, who '"as subjected to attempts by third parties to intimidate and extort the public official into making official decisions with respect to public employment and 'who is named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit in connection with his or her decision to terminate an employee's public employment, permitted to use funds from his or her campaign committee to pay legal fees to his or her legal counsel In connection with the ensuing criminal investigation into the third parties' (sic) actions and legal defense in the civil action?

SYLLABUS: Pursuant to the terms of Ohio Revised Code     17.13(0)(2), the holder of a public office is permitted to use funds from his or her campaign committee to pay legal fees in connection with the legal defense in a civil action and the related criminal investigation all as a result of certain improper activities taken by third parties which are related to the public office holder's proper decision to terminate an employee's public employment.