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Supreme Court wants tougher penalty for lawmaker convicted of DUI

The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a proposed public reprimand for former a former southwest Ohio legislator, saying a harsher penalty should be considered.

The Disciplinary Counsel of the Ohio Supreme Court recommended that former State Rep. Robert Mecklenborg, R-Cincinnati, be publicly reprimanded, rather than have his law license suspended, for lying about a drunk driving arrest on an April 2011 application to renew his drivers license.

In making its decision, the disciplinary counsel factored in Mecklenborg’s lack of a disciplinary record, cooperation with the process and “character and reputation for significant involvement in the community.”

But in a one-page filing, the justices sent the case back to its disciplinary arm “for further proceedings, including consideration of a more severe sanction.”

Mecklenborg resigned under pressure in July 2011 after word got out that he was arrested on April 23, 2011 in Dearborn, Ind., on an OVI charge with a young woman in his car who was not his wife.

Blood tests showed Mecklenborg, 61, was over the legal alcohol limit and had Viagra in his system. He was also driving under a suspended license.

But on an April 27, 2011 application to renew his driver’s license, Mecklenborg marked a box that indicated he had no pending driving citations in Ohio or elsewhere.

Mecklenborg pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge in August 2011 and was sentenced to a year’s probation.

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