Ohio State Representative Bob Young (R-Green) announced on Friday that he will resign as state representative and chair of the Ohio House Pensions Committee next month following his second arrest in connection with an alleged domestic violence case.
As previously reported by The Ohio Star, a warrant was issued for Young’s arrest in July. He was charged with a 1st-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge and a 4th-degree felony charge of disrupting public services at his home in Green following an alleged incident at a fundraiser. Young paid $520 of his $5,000 bond or 10 percent plus fees to secure his release and plead not guilty to the charges.
The lawmaker was then arrested for the second time in two months in August for violating a protection order stemming from his first arrest.
In a formal letter of resignation to Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill), Young said that all of the allegations he is facing have become a distraction and the business of the Ohio House must continue uninterrupted:
“I am officially giving you my resignation as State Representative for district 32 effective as of October 2, 2023. This will allow time to engage a qualified Summit Co. Republican for my replacement. Serving in the Ohio House of Representatives has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime. I will always honor the time and effort, put forth in trying to make my district and the state a better place to live.
All of the allegations that I am facing have become a distraction. I will be vigorously defending myself, and I’m looking forward to personal and legal vindication as the court process plays out. I was hopeful that this matter could be resolved before this point, but I can no longer deny the distraction that this matter has caused the Ohio House of Representatives as an institution, as well as my colleagues, with whom I serve. Therefore, out of respect for them and the Ohio legislature, I will not continue any further while these matters are pending. The business of the Ohio House must continue uninterrupted, and no one individual is more important than that business.
Again, I’m asking that my family’s privacy be respected. As I continue to focus on the most important consideration my family.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. God bless you and all of my house colleagues, as you strive to make Ohio a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
Young’s resignation comes after 34 Ohio House Republicans signed a letter asking him to step down following his second arrest and protection order violation saying that at this current time, he is unable to provide effective representation for his constituents.
“Serving in the Ohio House of Representatives is a privilege, not a right. While our prayers are with the family of Rep. Bob Young during this difficult period for them, we have serious concerns about his recent conduct, and it is clear that he is unable to provide effective representation to his constituents at this time. We genuinely hope that our colleague can receive the help he needs, and with that being the utmost importance, we call on Rep. Bob Young to resign,” the lawmakers said.
Stephens also requested that Young resign so he could focus on his family.
“Although I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty, I asked Bob for his resignation as state representative so he can focus on his family at this time,” Stephens said.
Following Stephens’ request in July, Young’s lawyer John Greven confirmed that Young would not resign from his position at that time despite Stephens’ request as there had been “inaccurate and unfair speculation” regarding his charges and that his behavior was inappropriate but not criminal.
Considering that the GOP now has a super-majority in the Ohio House, with Young’s resignation, local party members will choose a replacement to serve the remaining two years of his tenure.
According to the Ohio Constitution, if there is a vacancy in the Ohio General Assembly, lawmakers must fill the vacancy by an election conducted by the members of the legislative house where the vacancy happened who are members of the party that last held the seat. A simple majority vote is needed to approve a replacement.
The Star contacted Young’s office for comment but did not receive a reply before press time.
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star, The Star News Network, and The Tennessee Star. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]