Ohio Supreme Court Halts State’s Attempt to Collect More Taxes from NASCAR

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday morning that revenue earned by NASCAR from selling the rights to broadcast stock car races and merchandise to Ohio fans is not subject to state business taxes.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court rejected the Ohio Tax Commissioner, Jeffrey McClain’s, order that NASCAR owes the state almost $550,000 for money earned from broadcasting races, online marketing, and sponsorship fees.

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Ohio Supreme Court Dismisses Case on Governor DeWine’s Halt to Additional COVID Unemployment Benefits

The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously dismissed a case on if Governor Mike DeWine had the authority to cut off an extra $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits.

Justices dismissed the case as “moot.” Without a court order requiring the federal government to keep these additional unemployment benefits, it was unclear if the money still existed.

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Ohioans Ready for Election Day as Candidates Make Final Push

With the midterm election less than a week away Ohio voters are going to decide who they want in Congress, the governor’s mansion, and the Ohio Supreme Court and will vote on two major ballot issues.

With the large ballot at hand here is a breakdown of who is running for election and what position they are running for.

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School Employee Takes Suit Against Union to Ohio Supreme Court

A nonunion school guidance counselor wants the Ohio Supreme Court to decide if she can hire her own lawyer for a grievance with her school system, rather than be forced to use union representation.

The court has not set a hearing date for Barbara Kolkowski, who sued the Ashtabula Area Teachers Association and asked the court to rule a union – which she is not a member of – cannot force her to accept union legal representation to arbitrate a workplace grievance.

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Buckeye Institute Disputes Expanded Municipal Taxing Authority in Ohio on Behalf of Blue Ash Resident

A Columbus-based think tank this week filed its legal response in the Ohio Supreme Court in defense of a Blue Ash man who believes the state cannot make him pay Cincinnati income taxes for a period of time he actually worked from home. 

The Buckeye Institute argued that a state law passed in March 2020 to allow jurisdictions encompassing an “employee’s principal place of work” to levy taxes on that worker even when he or she works from home is unconstitutional. Specifically, the institute notes that the federal Constitution’s dormant commerce clause in Article I, Section 8 disallows states to enact statutes that “unduly burden interstate commerce.” Buckeye attorneys also believe the Ohio Constitution constrains lawmakers’ ability to broaden cities and towns’ tax-collection power. 

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Ohio Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Stopping Picketing at Homes, Private Businesses

Public officials are not immune from picketing connected to a labor dispute at their homes or private workplaces after a divided Ohio Supreme Court struck down a law that prohibited encouraging “targeted picketing.”

The law made organizing picketing at a private residence and business an unfair labor practice, but in a 4-3 decision the Supreme Court said that violated the First Amendment right of free speech.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Michael P. Donnelly, Melody Stewart and Jennifer Brunner all joined the majority.

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Ohio Supreme Court Rules for Gibson’s Bakery over Oberlin College

Ohio’s Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with Gibson’s Bakery in its libel case against Oberlin College, declining to hear the school’s appeal and permitting the family-owned establishment to collect over $36 million in damages. 

The litigation against Oberlin and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo stemmed from uncorroborated accusations of racism that the Gibson family believes initially cost their store half its patronage. In June 2019, a Lorain County court ordered the school to pay the bakers $32 million. About $4.5 million in interest has accumulated since that ruling. 

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Eminent Domain Issue Reaches Ohio Supreme Court

Property owners in southern Ohio continue to receive support in their ongoing legal fight to keep the Ohio Power Company from taking land through eminent domain.

The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based policy group, filed an amicus brief with the Ohio Supreme Court in support of the landowners, who have been fighting the power company’s plan to take property for power lines.

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Ohio Supreme Court Allows Heartbeat Law to Remain in Effect, Denies Abortion Providers’ Request to Allow Procedure to Continue

The Ohio law that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, generally at six weeks’ gestation, will remain in effect while a lawsuit filed by abortion providers continues against it.

The law took effect after the state Supreme Court denied a request by abortion providers for an emergency stay on the legislation to allow abortions to continue while the lawsuit proceeds.

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ACLU and Planned Parenthood File Lawsuit in Ohio Supreme Court to Block Enforcement of Heartbeat Law

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood, and a group of Ohio abortion facilities filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Ohio Supreme Court that seeks to overturn the state’s heartbeat law which began being enforced soon after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The pro-abortion groups claim in the lawsuit Ohioans have a “fundamental right to abortion” under the Ohio Constitution, “as guaranteed by the Ohio Constitution’s broad protections for individual liberties under Article I, Sections 1, 16, and 21, and the equal protection guarantee under Article I, Section 2.”

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DeWine to Ohio Superintendents: $100 Million Budgeted for School Safety Grants

Ohio schools will receive $100 million in total to purchase security equipment as part of the next round of K-12 School Safety Grants, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) wrote to superintendents on Friday.

The allocations, which come as a part of the state’s capital budget bill that DeWine signed into law last week, will go toward purchases such as outdoor lighting, facility-mapping software, school-radio systems, door-locking technology and visitor-badge systems. The Ohio School Safety Center in Columbus is now drafting the application for schools to access this money and expects to soon start the application process.

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Ohio Supreme Court to Hear Municipal Income Tax Case

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear a case challenging the state’s municipal income tax code that allowed cities to levy taxes on workers who did not live or work in those communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court agreed to hear The Buckeye Institute’s case of Schaad v. Adler, one of five the Columbus-based policy group filed relating municipal income tax collection.

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LaRose Directs Ohio Counties to Move Forward with Second Primary

Calling a federal court’s order to implement state legislative district maps that were twice ruled unconstitutional a temporary solution, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose directed county boards of election to move forward with preparations for an Aug. 2 primary election.

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Ohio Supreme Court Tosses Redistricting Maps – Again

Calling the actions of Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission a “stunning rebuke of the rule of law,” the Ohio Supreme Court rejected for a fifth time a set of Ohio House and Senate district maps.

The decision came three days before a deadline set by federal judges, who said they would implement maps ruled unconstitutional if no new legal maps were created.

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Ohio Legislation to Add Public Safety, More Cash Bail Passes Committee

A push to have Ohio judges consider public safety when setting bail took a step forward when the House Criminal Justice Committee advanced legislation supported by prosecutor and business groups across the state.

House Bill 607 adds the risk of public safety into bail consideration in direct response to an Ohio Supreme Court decision in Debuse v. McGuffey, a ruling that upheld an appellate court’s decision permitting the reduction of a murder suspect’s bail without considering community safety.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Sends Previous Tossed Out Maps Back to Court

Groups that successfully challenged the constitutionality of the third set of Ohio state legislative redistricting maps will likely challenge again after the Ohio Redistricting Commission resubmitted the previously thrown out maps.

The commission voted 4-3 late Thursday to send back its third attempt at Senate and House districts, even though the court had already ruled they unfairly favored Republicans. The Ohio Supreme Court had set a 9 a.m. Friday deadline for maps to be submitted.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Sets Meeting Two Days Before Deadline

Robert Cupp and Vernon Sykes

More than two weeks after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a fourth attempt at establishing Ohio legislative districts, the Ohio Redistricting Commission scheduled a meeting.

That meeting will come two days before the court’s deadline to submit a new set of maps.

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Federal Court Imposes May 28 Deadline on Ohio Redistricting Commission

A federal court gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission until May 28 to draw state legislative redistricting maps that meet a court order, or it will implement a previously rejected map so the state can hold an Aug. 2 primary.

The three-judge panel, voting 2-1, said it would impose the commission’s third set of maps because the state had started preparing to use those maps before they were declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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Ohio Election Officials Say Second Primary Must Be August 2

Ohio election officials said the state could not hold its second primary any later than Aug. 2, despite an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that suggested the state could easily hold an election later in August or even September.

The Ohio Association of Election Officials said overseas and military ballots, along with other requirements for testing voting systems and proofing ballots, make Aug. 2 the last day to have a primary for state legislative offices if the same rules are to be met for the November general election.

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Court Ruling Sends Ohio Redistricting Commission Back to Drawing Maps

Justice Michael Donnelly was stronger in a concurring opinion.

“The independent map drawers’ efforts were apparently little more than a sideshow – yet more fodder in this political sport,” Donnelly wrote. “What appeared to be the start of a transparent redistricting process when the two independent map drawers were engaged by the commission became transparent only in the sense that it exposed the falsehood that some of the commission members had fulfilled their obligations under the Ohio Constitution. As to that, Ohioans are still watching and waiting.”

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Ohio Secretary of State Blasts Supreme Court Ruling Blocking Redistricting Maps

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose blasted a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court, which blocked the state’s redistricting maps for the fourth time.

The ruling requires a new set of maps to be drawn and submitted to the Court and the Secretary of State’s office by May 6th.

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Ohio Supreme Court Throws Out Fourth Set of State Legislative Maps

The Ohio Supreme Court struck down a fourth set of state legislative district maps Thursday, ordering the Ohio Redistricting Commission to develop and adopt an entirely new set of maps by May 6.

The ruling declared the fourth set of maps invalid in its entirety. The new plan must be filed with Secretary of State Frank LaRose by 9 a.m. May 6 and filed with the court by noon the same day.

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Ohio Lawmaker Wants State Supreme Court to Pay for Second Primary

An Ohio lawmaker wants the Ohio Supreme Court to pay the potential $20 million price tag for a second primary election after it ruled three times legislative redistricting maps were unconstitutional.

Rep. Ron Ferguson, R-Jefferson, plans to introduce legislation to pull second primary election costs from the court’s budget, saying the Ohio Redistricting Commission worked in a bipartisan manner to develop new districts.

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Ohio Supreme Court Leaves Primary Election Date in Hands of General Assembly

Robert Cupp and Vernon Sykes

The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a Democrat request to move the state primary to June, while independent map makers told the Ohio Redistricting Commission progress is slow creating a fourth set of state legislative districts.

The Supreme Court left the power to establish election dates and times in the hands of the General Assembly after Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, and House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, filed a motion last week to have the court set a new date.

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Independent Map Makers Get Orders from Ohio Redistricting Commission

Two independent map makers could have a first draft of state legislative maps to the Ohio Redistricting Commission by Thursday night, a day after getting their instructions.

The commission faces a Monday deadline to have new maps on the desk of Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who must have the maps to the Ohio Supreme Court by 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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Court Tosses Ohio Legislative District Maps for Third Time

Ohio State House

Ohio’s May 3 primary elections are in jeopardy after the state Supreme Court struck down state legislative maps for the third time.

The court ruled 4-3 late Wednesday night the maps unfairly favor Republicans, saying the Ohio Redistricting Commission has attempted three sets of maps without input from Democrats on any, instead using GOP staffers to draft each map.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Passes Third Set of State Legislative Maps

Robert Cupp and Vernon Sykes

The GOP-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission has passed its third set of state legislative maps, a week after a court-ordered deadline and with one Republican objection.

The 4-3 commission vote means if the maps are approved by the Ohio Supreme Court, they last only four years rather than the traditional 10 that would have happened with bipartisan support on the commission.

Commission Co-Chair and House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, said the new maps, which were passed late Thursday, met all the constitutional requirements established when voters created the commission and twice when the court ruled previous maps were unfairly gerrymandered to benefit Republicans.

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Ohio Supreme Court Gives Redistricting Commission Deadline to Show Cause

The Ohio Supreme Court has given the Ohio Redistricting Commission until noon Wednesday to show cause why it should not be held in contempt of court for failing to meet a deadline for new state legislative maps.

The commission missed an 11:59 p.m. Feb. 17 court-ordered deadline to submit a third set of maps after the court ruled the first two were unfairly gerrymandered to favor Republicans.

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State Supreme Court Tosses Ohio’s Legislative District Maps for Second Time

The Ohio Supreme Court again sided with the League of Women Voters and tossed out new state legislative district maps for a second time, saying Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission disregarded its initial ruling.

The court ruled, 4-3, the commission’s second attempt that preserved Republican majorities was unconstitutional and ordered the commission to adopt a new plan, saying if the commission would have used its time more wisely and been committed to working together to find a map that met court guidelines, it could have been accomplished.

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Commission Wants New Ohio Legislative Maps to Stay At Least Through General Election

The Ohio Redistricting Commission wants the Ohio Supreme Court to allow a second round of state legislative district maps to stand at least through this year’s elections.

The request comes as part of the commission’s response to challenges to the new maps that were forced to be redrawn after the court ruled the original maps illegally favored Republicans.

The commission asked for a decision by Feb. 11 or stay the issue until after the 2022 general election, allowing the revised plan to stay in effect until then.

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City Income Tax Law in Front of Ohio Supreme Court

Emergency legislation enacted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that changed the way municipal income taxes were handed out to cities is now in front of the Ohio Supreme Court.

The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based policy group, originally filed suit in July 2020, challenging the state law that requires an employee to pay income taxes in the city where an employee works instead of where they live.

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Democrats Applaud Court Decision to Throw Out Ohio Legislative Maps

Ohio Democrats believe an Ohio Supreme Court decision that tossed out the state’s new Senate and House legislative district maps is an opportunity to create fairer districts, while Gov. Mike DeWine said court challenges were not unexpected.

The court gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission 10 days to redraw maps it said did not comply with a 2015 constitutional amendment that requires an attempt to avoid party favoritism. The League of Women Voters, along with other groups, sued and claimed the maps heavily favored state Republicans.

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Ohio Supreme Court Rules State Legislative Redistricting Maps Must Be Redrawn

The Ohio Redistricting Commission has 10 days to redraw state legislative maps after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday recently drawn maps that favored Republicans did not attempt to avoid party favoritism.

The court also retained jurisdiction to review the new maps.

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Ohio Supreme Court Hears Challenges to State’s New Congressional Map

Ohio Republicans argued voters have more competitive congressional districts than before, despite claims in lawsuits the General Assembly gerrymandered new maps to benefit Republican candidates.

Attorney Phillip Strach, who represents Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, told the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday the state’s new congressional district map contains seven competitive districts, at least as many as any other plan offered.

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Ohio Supreme Court Set to Hear Challenge to State’s New Congressional Districts

The Ohio Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Tuesday, relating to the constitutionality of new congressional maps that were recently signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine.

The new map, passed earlier this year by the state legislature, established new boundaries for federal and state representation following new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Ohio Supreme Court Turns Away Lawsuit Aimed at State’s Vax-A-Million Lottery

The Ohio Supreme Court has turned away a challenge to Gov. Mike DeWine’s first COVID-19 vaccination incentive lottery without ruling on the merits of the program.

The court rejected the lawsuit, saying the group – Stand Up Ohio! – failed to meet the requirements to sue in the Supreme Court. The ruling said the group failed to prove how it or any of its members were personally harmed by the state’s Vax-A-Million lottery program.

The court did not decide on the merits of the case, only the group lacked standing to sue.

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Ohio Supreme Court Rules the State’s Redistricting Commission Members Can Be Deposed

Republican members of Ohio’s redistricting commission will have to answer questions as part of three lawsuits challenging new state legislative district maps, the Ohio Supreme Court said.

Groups such as the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed lawsuits, claiming the legislative maps are unconstitutional and gerrymandered. The Ohio Supreme Court has jurisdiction over lawsuits that challenge redistricting.

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Ohio Judge Allows Municipal-Income-Tax Challenge to Go Forward

Dr. Manal Morsy

A judge has ruled a lawsuit challenging the city of Cleveland’s ability to collect income tax from a doctor who had not worked in the city during the pandemic can go forward.

Dr. Manal Morsy’s lawsuit, one of several filed against Ohio cities by The Buckeye Institute, tests a state law that was altered during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to allow cities to collect taxes from workers who did not work in those cities.

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose denied Cleveland’s motion to dismiss Wednesday.

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Ohio Municipal Income Tax Issue Continues in Courts

An Ohio organization that has fought cities collecting income taxes from people who had not worked in specific cities during the COVID-19 pandemic has filed an appeal in a Cincinnati case that was dismissed in June.

The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based think tank, recently filed its appeal with the First District Court of Appeals on behalf of Josh Schaad, who lives in Blue Ash but is employed in Cincinnati. The case was dismissed four months after it was filed.

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Court Ruling Allows Ohio Small Businesses to File Single Local Tax Return

An Ohio Supreme Court ruling should help small business owners cut through government bureaucracy and save time and money, according to a Central Ohio think tank.

The ruling, which could allow small businesses to file a single local income tax return, is a step in the right direction for small businesses throughout the state, according Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute.

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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty for Serial Killer

The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death sentences of convicted serial killer Michael Madison last week. Madison, who was convicted of murdering three women after confessing to killing one, claimed that he did not recall killing the two others. The 2013 conviction was not without controversy however, as the defense took issue with several aspects of the prosecution including psychiatric reports, jury selection, and even the constitutionality of the death penalty.

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Ohio Democratic Party Sues Frank LaRose for Acting Without ‘Legal Authority’ in Setting New Primary Date

The Ohio Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose over the state’s chaotic postponement of the presidential primary.

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Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine Recuses Himself from Voting on His Father Gov. Mike DeWine’s Effort to Quash State Primary

When Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine went court shopping to quash the state’s primary Tuesday as a way to fight the coronavirus, one of three Supreme Court justices who abstained from voting in his favor was his eldest son, Justice Pat DeWine.

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AG Yost Weighs In on Whistleblower Lawsuit Which Could Affect Ohio’s Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors

Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a “friend of the court brief” with the Ohio Supreme Court regarding a federal lawsuit filed by an employee of the Geauga County Health Department. Rebecca Buddenberg, a “whistleblower” who claims the county retaliated against her for reporting, “…unequal pay practices and potential ethical violations by County Health Commissioner Robert Weisdack,” resigned in May 2017. She filed her lawsuit in March 2018.

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While Senate Hears Legislation to Change Law Allowing State Takeovers of Failing School Districts, Ohio Supreme Court Takes Up The Case

The Senate Education Committee has been considering House Bill 154 (HB 154) for several months. The bill would eliminate all current academic distress commissions and repeal the law, prohibiting the formation of new ones. The purpose of academic distress commissions is to take over chronically failing school districts. The commissions were created by House Bill 70 (HB 70), the constitutionality of which is currently under consideration by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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Ohio Supreme Court Suspends Former Democrat Judge Timothy Horton Law License ‘Indefinitely,’ Sets New Precedent for Discipline Involving Sexual Harassment

In a unanimous decision Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court suspended disgraced former 10th District Court of Appeals Judge Tim Horton’s law license indefinitely. The precedent-setting ruling found that Horton’s resignation from the bench and 10-day jail sentence for multiple misconduct violations, including sexual harassment, didn’t go far enough.

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