Legislative Democrats on Wednesday asked a federal prosecutor to investigate whether Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office broke federal laws in awarding legal contracts to campaign donors.
The Democrats’ letter to U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart follows a story about law firms that gave campaign donations to DeWine and were named to a state panel that decides cases to pursue.
Firms seeking to do business with the attorney general’s office have donated $1.3 million to DeWine, his son Pat DeWine, and the Ohio Republican Party.
In some cases, firms gave thousands of dollars to DeWine’s campaign about the same time they submitted requests to join the panel. One firm, Labaton Sucharow, appeared to violate Ohio’s campaign donation limits; DeWine’s office said they would return the $16,000 contribution.
Democratic House leadership asked Stewart to look at whether DeWine’s broke any federal laws.
DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said that the attorney general follows the law. “When it was discovered that contributions were made in error, they were returned,” Tierney said.