Attorney General Mike DeWine

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The group working to get a marijuana legalization issue on Ohio's fall ballot has passed the next step in a separate effort to have some related crimes expunged.

ResponsibleOhio says its "Fresh Start Act" calls for reviewing and expunging criminal records for people with previous marijuana convictions if their actions would no longer be considered illegal under the legalization amendment.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine cleared the petition language Monday, a move that sends the effort to the state Ballot Board for further review.

Attorney General Mike DeWine made the settlement announcement during a news conference Wednesday. Ohio Dept. of Transportation Director Jerry Wray was at his side.
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

Many of Ohio’s cities and townships will soon be getting a check from a court settlement with companies that provide road salt.

Under the agreement, the Morton and Cargill companies will pay a combined $11.5 million. Most of the money will be distributed to local governments that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says spent too much on road salt for about a decade.

Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training is recommending some changes it says will improve policing statewide. This group wants some standards to determine who should get into training classes and increases training for officers statewide.

DeWine says there are few requirements for people who want to enroll in police officer training academics throughout the state.

The law enforcement training panel created by Attorney General Mike DeWine met for a final time Monday before it will issue a report later this month. 

The advisory group is expected to make recommendations on training standards for law enforcement, especially in community relations and in situations involving the use of force. Chair Reggie Wilkinson, who once headed the state’s prison system, says to make sure its report doesn’t just sit around – as task force reports often do – the group wants to consider recommendations that can be implemented without lawmaker approval.

Ohio Senate Votes To Extend Time For Rape Prosecution

Mar 25, 2015

The Ohio Senate has approved a proposal to extend the 20-year time period for prosecuting rape and sexual battery.

The bill provides an additional five years for prosecution from the time a potential suspect is identified through DNA testing.

The legislation comes as the Attorney General's Office continues to plow through a backlog of untested rape kits, with numerous cases of DNA matches in a criminal database.

The GOP-controlled Senate voted 32-1 in favor of the bill Wednesday.

Ken "kcdsTM" / Flickr

State officials are turning up the heat on repeat convicts who continue to ignore the law and carry guns.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says there’s a small population of Ohioans that are wreaking havoc on communities. These are criminals who have been in and out of prison for violent crimes at least twice and continue to carry firearms. DeWine is supporting a bill in the Senate that would increase the possibility for more jail time if these repeat offenders are caught with a gun.

Protesters took to the streets in Cincinnati in 2008 demanding gay marriage rights.
Jere Keys / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio and Michigan Democratic parties have come together to file a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on a gay marriage case it is considering. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper says the parties want the nation’s highest court to overturn an appeals court decision that upholds bans on same sex marriage in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Ohio Official's Advisory Group Studies Police Training

Mar 5, 2015
Protestors demonstrate in front of Beavercreek Police station following the death of John Crawford III inside a Beavercreek Walmart in 2014.
Wayne Baker

The quality of police training academies in Ohio and the need for stronger statewide training standards are among the issues an attorney general's committee is considering as it explores possible changes to the way Ohio trains police officers.

Attorney General Mike DeWine created the group last year after several fatal police shootings and protests of those shootings in Ohio and nationally.

Ohio Attorney General Sues Over Health Care Law Tax

Jan 26, 2015
Jonund/Flickr

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing the federal government over what DeWine calls an unconstitutional health care tax levied on state and local governments.
 
The lawsuit filed Monday argues there's no precedent allowing the collection of $6.25 million last year from government entities and nothing in the federal health care law that allows such a tax.
 
At issue is a provision in the law permitting tax assessments against health insurance companies and certain employers who offer self-insured group health plans to help keep premiums affordable.
 

It is not uncommon for the Ohio Attorney General’s office to step in on some high profile cases throughout the state. The Steubenville rape case, the police involved shooting death of John Crawford in a Beavercreek Wal Mart and the fatal shooting of a 12 year old Cleveland area boy by a police officer are some of the most recent examples of situations where the A.G.’s office has taken lead roles. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the process for deciding whether to intervene in local cases is pretty simple.

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