“We need to hold our elected leaders accountable,” he said. “People in my community, the people I talk to when I’m on the ground, they have lost faith in our government because of the corruption they see. How can they believe the government works for them when they see so many political leaders who are just out for themselves?”
Whaley’s proposal follows a series of high-profile statewide scandals in recent years. This includes the recent indictments of the Ohio House speaker and others in what federal prosecutors call a $61 million bribery scheme linked to the nuclear energy bailout House Bill 6.
Whaley said the perception that Ohio leads the nation in political corruption puts pressure on lawmakers, who would have to approve the parts of her proposal that can’t be accomplished by executive order.
The Ohio Republican Party issued a statement Tuesday noting that an FBI agent in 2019 said there was a “culture of corruption in Dayton-area politics” when announcing a corruption probe that resulted in convictions of a former city councilmember, former state lawmaker and city employee.
“While Nan Whaley is holding a press conference to launch cherry-picked partisan attacks, Republicans are focused on getting Ohioans back to work,” said Ohio Republican Party Executive Director Justin Bis.
“Instead of holding perfunctory press conferences, Mayor Whaley should work on fixing the ‘culture of corruption’ in Dayton’s City Hall.”
Whaley said that in the wake of the Dayton corruption probe, the city hired an independent firm to conduct an audit and revised city policy to increase oversight.
“Unlike (Ohio Gov.) Mike DeWine and this legislature we actually took action,” she said.
Whaley and other city leaders refused to release the full findings of the audit but in January released an executive summary saying city staff operated with too little oversight but there was no evidence of widespread impropriety.