He should step down ...
That Larry Householder is a controversial figure is not news, and that he is in hot water again with federal authorities isn’t new either.
In his second stint as the Republican-controlled Ohio House’s speaker, Householder was arrested Tuesday by federal authorities amidst a $60 million bribery scandal. Sixteen years ago, Householder — in his first stint as speaker — was the subject of a federal investigation, although it did not result in charges.
Perhaps, Householder is guilty of no wrongdoing; our justice system certainly allows for the presumption of innocence before guilt is proven. But the comment of Rep. Jim Hoops of Napoleon is especially poignant — this is a distraction the Ohio House (and General Assembly) does not need.
Householder already had sparked division among Republicans when he won election as House speaker in January 2019 by receiving support from Democrats. That’s usually not how the speaker selection system works.
Rep. Craig Riedel of Defiance, who did not support Householder for speaker, is correct in emphasizing that lawmakers need to look for leaders with high integrity and high character.