Ohio Ethics Laws prohibit public officials, including part-time board members, local officials and some unpaid appointees from receiving certain gifts, meals or entertainment. The laws also regulate those who give the gifts or pay for the meals and entertainment of public officials. Every public official or employee and every individual corporation that provides anything to a public official should be aware of the Ohio ethics laws and related guidance.

Resources Available

Governor's Office Issues Interpretation Document Regarding Executive Order 2007-01S on Ethics Requirements

In response to a number of questions concerning the Ohio Governor's Executive Order 2007-01S regarding ethical requirements for state employees, the Ohio Governor's Office has issued a series of questions and answers to provide additional guidance about the Executive Order. The document covers matters regarding meetings and conferences, including the acceptance of gifts and meals at such events, and addresses a series of questions related to permissible and impermissible gifts.

When Recusal is Not the Answer: Ethical Considerations For New Appointees Warning

August 2007

Bulletin discussing when recusal is required and not required by public officials serving on public or private boards or commissions.

Recent Developments in Ohio Student Lending Investigation: Investigation Expanded to Alumni Associations & Foundations-- Ohio Ethics Commission Issues Warning

May 2007

The Ohio Attorney General has initiated an investigation of unethical financial arrangements of colleges and universities with student-loan companies and is targeting education foundations and alumni associations, in addition to private lending organizations and colleges and universities.

Governor Strickland Announces New State Ethics Policy

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed his first Executive Order on January 8, 2006, immediately after being sworn in, setting a strict new ethics policy for state government.

Ohio Supreme Court Rules That Improper Interest in a Contract By a Public Official Does Not Render Contract Void

In February 2007 Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion in Morrow Cty. Airport Auth. v. Whetstone Flyers Ltd., holding that contracts issued in violation of R.C. 2921.42, prohibiting public officials from having an unlawful interest in a public contract, are not void.

U.S. House of Representatives Issues New Rules on Acceptance of Gifts and Travel

New ethics rules issued in January 2007 by the U.S. House of Representatives dealing with gifts and travel.

An Overview of Ohio Ethics Laws: A Corporate Guide for Entertaining Public Officials September 2005

Compliance guide to the Ohio ethics laws on public official entertainment. 

Recent Changes Impact Private Corporations, Their Subsidiaires and Their Officers When State Funding is Accepted

May 2006

Bulletin on an Ohio Supreme Court decision and Ohio legislation that will heighten the scrutiny permitted by the state of corporations that accept state funding.

Ohio Ethics Commission

The Ohio Ethics commission webpage contains useful fact sheets and numerous advisory opinions about a variety of public ethics issues.

Compatibility Opinions Index

Many public officials are asked to serve on more than one public body. Usually, this dual service is a benefit to both of the public agencies involved. But sometimes, ethical conflicts between the two positions can make service on both very difficult. The Ohio Attorney General has prepared a comprehensive listing of its opinions and other guidance to help public officials understand when they can and cannot hold a second public office while serving in the first.