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Antani says failure to report Householder donation ‘a mistake’

State Rep. Niraj Antani
State Rep. Niraj Antani

Democratic opponent filed complaint with Ohio Elections Commision

Campaign finance reports show Friends of Larry Householder reporting a $5,000 contribution on Sept. 19, 2018, to Citizens for Niraj Antani but that donation doesn’t show up on Antani’s campaign finance reports.

Democrat Mark Fogel and his team filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission over the discrepancy.

Fogel and Antani, a Republican state representative, are vying for the open Ohio Senate seat currently held by Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering.

ExploreFederal agents search Ohio House looking for items from Householder

The next step is that the commission would consider the matter at its next hearing, but it’s unclear when that might happen, according to Rachel Coyle, spokeswoman for Ohio Senate Democrats. A message was left with the commission office seeking comment.

Antani pulled bank records and found that the donation from Householder was deposited on Oct. 9, 2018. He updated his campaign finance records to fix what he called a mistake.

“It was a clerical error and I am very frustrated and disappointed in myself, and am setting up campaign protocols to make sure it never happens again,” Antani told the Dayton Daily News.

In January 2019, Antani voted for Householder to become speaker. This week, Antani voted to remove Householder, R-Glenford, as speaker and voted in favor of Robert Cupp, R-Lima, to be the new speaker.

Householder was indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with an alleged $60 million bribery scheme.

Fogel called Antani’s failure to report the donation and the timeline of the donation and Antani’s support for Householder as speaker “deeply troubling.” Fogel said constituents have a right to more information.