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96ELC-08

TO    Sharon McClellan
         Office of the Attorney General

You have requested an advisory opinion on the following question:

Can a former state elected office-holder, who has pleaded no contest, with a stipulation to facts constituting criminal offenses, and with a subsequent judicial finding of guilt to nine counts of solicitation in violation of 124.57, 124.62, of the Ohio Revised Code, use monies from his campaign fund to pay his legal fees associated with and arising out of the representation on those criminal charges?

SYLLABUS: An expenditure for legal fees to defend against criminal charges is an inappropriate use of campaign funds on behalf of the officeholder.