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Ohio House Democrat stripped of committee assignments for “unacceptable” behavior

Rep. Elliot Forhan (D-University Heights), speaking after the Ohio Ballot Board meeting on Aug. 24, 2023 about his opposition to language the board approved for Issue 1.
Daniel Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Rep. Elliot Forhan (D-University Heights), speaking after the Ohio Ballot Board meeting on Aug. 24, 2023 about his opposition to language the board approved for Issue 1.

The leader of Democrats in the Ohio House has taken an unusual step of disciplining a member for his behavior.

House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) has sent a letter to Rep. Elliot Forhan (D-South Euclid), telling him he is stripped of committee assignments and caucus staff services. The letter said Forhan also cannot contact staff, including legislative aides, interns and pages.

“Your continued pattern of harassment, hostility and intimidation of colleagues and staff are unacceptable,” the letter said. “You have been counselled multiple times, yet refuse to accept the responsibility and weight of your position, actions, and discourse. Because you are an elected official, the consequences above provide some recourse in meeting the tone, tenor and substance of your behavior.”

The letter also called out Forhan for “your history of increasingly hostile and inappropriate behavior.” In recent days, Forhan has been criticized for social media posts about the Israel/Hamas war and his interactions with other members.

Forhan was on the Ohio Ballot Board. That panel meets Monday to review the proposed amendment for the 2024 ballot that would create a citizens redistricting commission. The summary language from the group Citizens Not Politicians was approved last month but had to be resubmitted after the group found a typo.
Copyright 2023 The Statehouse News Bureau.