Local lawmaker facing 16 felony counts, 102 years in jail


State Rep. Pete Beck, R-Mason, was indicted Friday on 16 felony counts related to securities fraud.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, both Republicans, are holding a press conference this afternoon to discuss the charges. He faces a maximum of 102 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Beck, 60, is a certified public accountant and former mayor of Mason. He was appointed to the state legislature in 2009 and was has been re-elected twice since then. He is the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee and sits on the finance and appropriations committee.

Beck represents the 54th District in the Ohio House covering parts of Warren and Butler counties including Lebanon, Turtlecreek Twp. and Mason.

Beck has been facing legal problems since at least January, when a group of investors sued in a Hamilton County court, alleging they were defrauded out of $1.2 million by a group including Beck, Cincinnati pastor Janet Combs, and companies tied to Combs’ late husband, Thomas Lysaght.

The investors behind the lawsuit allege the money they invested was instead transferred to Combs’s church and otherwise misspent; $15,000 of the investors’ money was donated to Beck’s political campaign, they said.

Beck filed a countersuit against the investors in February. A judge in March put the case on hold until the criminal investigation runs its course.

Indictments were expected on Thursday but never came to fruition. Beck’s attorney Konrad Kircher issued a statement in advance of the indictment saying others are at fault and Beck is a scapegoat.

“The charges are unsupported. Mr. Beck is being blamed for the errors or wrongdoing of others,” Kircher wrote. “The primary target of the investors Tom Lysaght is dead. The secondary target, John Fussner, is bankrupt. Consequently law enforcement, based on inaccurate information provided by investors, has cast a broad net to attempt to remedy the unfortunate business losses of the investors.”

Local GOP leaders were miffed when Beck was chosen to replace now Sen. Shannon Jones. The local party wanted Lebanon City Councilman Jeff Monroe to go to Columbus but many surmised Beck’s fund raising ability — he told the House caucus at the time he had $180,000 to $250,000 in committed campaign dollars — got him the seat.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Clark County strays, lost dogs won’t go to Dayton shelter
Clark County strays, lost dogs won’t go to Dayton shelter

Clark County won’t send strays and runaway dogs to a shelter in Dayton, according to Clark County commissioners. The commissioners said in a news release that they’re seeking a new place for dogs picked up by the Clark County dog wardens. “The county is in the process of obtaining a facility suitable to house the county dogs,&rdquo...
Clark County council votes against merging 2 clerk of courts offices
Clark County council votes against merging 2 clerk of courts offices

The Clark County Criminal Justice Council voted to no longer examine consolidating two local clerk of courts offices, due at least in part due to the cost to combine computer systems. Council members also questioned the Chamber of Greater Springfield’s motivation for asking local government leaders to move forward with the consolidation. The...
Ohio lawmaker criticizes efforts to remove Confederate monuments
Ohio lawmaker criticizes efforts to remove Confederate monuments

Even as Republicans like John Kasich, Rob Portman and Mike Turner call on President Donald Trump to clearly denounce white supremacists, state Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, took to Facebook this week to criticize efforts to remove Confederate monuments. “There is a statue of Bill Clinton in Arkansas. A man who obviously glorified adultery...
CNN criticized for labeling white supremacist Richard Spencer a ‘white rights activist’ in headline
CNN criticized for labeling white supremacist Richard Spencer a ‘white rights activist’ in headline

A headline on the website cnn.com this morning called white nationalist Richard Spencer a ‘white rights activist’, wording that led to criticism across social media. Spencer, who has referred to himself as a “white supremacist,” was scheduled to speak at the University of Florida. The university cited safety concerns and canceled...
Clark County commissioners approve store rezoning despite objections
Clark County commissioners approve store rezoning despite objections

Clark County commissioners approved Wednesday a rezoning for a proposed retail store in Bethel Twp., despite multiple objections from upset residents who live nearby — including some who asked voters to remember the decision at the polls. The rezoning for a proposed two-acre Dollar General store at 5550 W. National Road was approved by a 2-1...
More Stories