Politics
6:31 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Lawmaker Agrees To Give Up Powerful Chairmanship After Charges

State Rep. Peter Beck (R-Mason)

The speaker of the Ohio House says a southwest Ohio lawmaker has agreed to give up his powerful committee chairmanship after a new indictment.

Speaker William Batchelder, a Republican from Medina, says Republican Rep. Pete Beck will relinquish chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Republican Rep. Pete Beck is accused of being part of an enterprise that misled investors, improperly diverted their money, and laundered money. He is also charged in Thursday's Hamilton County indictment with lying to securities regulators. If convicted of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, Beck would face a mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison on that count alone. Beck was indicted last July on 16 felony counts and is scheduled for trial April 7.

Beck rejected calls that he should resign last year and is seeking re-election. He had criticized the allegations as "scandalous." Beck's attorneys called the new charges false allegations and say that he maintains his innocence.