Former Columbus City Council President Mike Mentel has dropped out of the March Democratic primary for Franklin County Commissioner.
Mentel had filed the paperwork last November to challenge incumbent Democrat Paula Brooks. Now Mentel is supporting the candidacy of State Representative, former council member and former state treasurer Kevin Boyce. Mentel said at the time he was encourage to run in the primary, but did not say who did so. Brooks and former Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's ally, Commissioner John O'Grady, have been at odds in recent years. Court records and law enforcement sources have linked Mentel to the red-light camera bribery scandal, but he says he did nothing wrong. City Hall lobbyist John Raphael pleaded guilty last year to extorting money from red-light camera company Redflex and funneling it to the campaigns of Columbus politicians when Mentel was council president.