Former state lawmaker Clayton Luckie turned himself in at the Franklin County Jail on Monday to begin a three-year prison sentence for misusing roughly $130,000 from his campaign account while serving in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Luckie walked into the jail lobby in downtown Columbus shortly after 4 p.m. and took immediate action to avoid being photographed or videotaped by the Dayton Daily News.
Luckie’s escort, who did not identify himself, pushed the Daily News reporter out of the way, blocked the camera with his body and his jacket and spat his gum at the reporter while Luckie checked in at the desk.
Luckie, 49, did nothing to stop his escort from behaving this way.
Luckie, a Dayton Democrat, pleaded guilty to six counts of election falsification, one count of money laundering, one count of grand theft, and one misdemeanor count of filing a false ethics statement.
He also agreed to pay back the $11,893 in state salary that he received from his indictment in October and the end of his legislative term Dec. 31. And he promised to cooperate with the FBI and prosecutors in ongoing investigations, which will be considered if and when Luckie asks for early release.
Luckie is also banned from running for or holding elective office for five years and he faces three years of probation after his prison release.
Investigators found that Luckie used his campaign account between 2006 and 2012 to write $9,825 in checks to himself, make 169 cash withdrawals totaling $19,000 and conduct 800 debit card transactions totaling almost $40,000. The spending sprees included ATM withdrawals at casinos, a payment on a home equity line of credit, and purchases at Morris Home Furnishings, Weber Jewelers, Nordstrom, Lowe’s, Babies R Us and other retailers.
Luckie, a 1981 graduate of Chaminade-Juliene High School, spent 10 years on the Dayton school board before he was appointed to the 39th District Ohio House seat in November 2006. He won election in 2008 and 2010 by wide margins and seemed to be a shoo-in for another two-year term. The district represents most of the city of Dayton.
The Daily News, though, reported in August that Luckie was under criminal investigation, prompting local Democrats to press him to withdraw his name from the November ballot. In October, the newspaper was first in the state to report that the criminal case was landing in court. In January, Luckie took a plea deal and apologized to Ohioans, family members and others, saying he takes responsibility for his actions but at the same time he attributed the mistakes to trying to do too much at once.