Former Ohio House speaker buys $330K house in Warren County amid federal investigation

Former Ohio House speaker Cliff Rosenberger bought a $330,000 house in Warren County, purchased after his abrupt resignation amid a federal investigation into his interactions with payday lenders.

He arranged a mortgage for all but $792 of the purchase price, according to Warren County public records. Mortgage Resources LLC — a private entity — issued the $329,208 loan.

Built in 2014, the 3,249-square-foot house sits on a quarter acre and has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms.

On a financial disclosure statement filed Wednesday, Rosenberger said he had no sources of income in 2018 other than the legislative post that he quit in April and less than $1,000 in interest from a bank account.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation last month said its investigation into Rosenberger is ongoing.

Rosenberger’s attorney David Axelrod said he is confident that the purchase, which he considers not newsworthy, is not related to the FBI investigation.

“I am confident that the purchase was completely lawful, the mortgage perfectly legitimate, Speaker Rosenberger is not guilty of wrongdoing, and we expect him to be completely vindicated,” Axelrod said.

Related: The fast and furious fall of Ohio House speaker Cliff Rosenberger

Related: Who else in Ohio has FBI public corruption squad investigated?

On Oct. 10, Rosenberger formed Keep It Simple LLC, according to mortgage documents.

On Oct. 18, Mortgage Resources LLC was formed by a law firm, according to Ohio Secretary of State records.

On Oct. 31, Rosenberger bought the house on Renaissance Boulevard in Franklin Twp.

Rosenberger lists a post office box in Clarksville as his mailing address on his 2018 financial disclosure statement filed with the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee.

On the same form, Rosenberger discloses that he owes money to Northbank 503, LLC — an entity controlled by GOP donor and heiress Ginni Ragan.

Related: Ohio House speaker scandal: How it developed

Related: FBI case continues a year after Ohio House Speaker Rosenberger resigned

Ragan rented her 2,237-square-foot luxury condo in downtown Columbus to Rosenberger while he was in the Ohio House. She bought the condo in March 2014 for $660,000.

Related: Former aide to Ohio speaker got mortgage from GOP donor

Northbank 503 LLC gave a $209,354 mortgage to Hunter Wright II in April 2016, according to the Franklin County Recorder’s office. Wright, a former aide to Rosenberger, purchased a 1,000-square-foot condo unit in downtown Columbus for $210,000, according to the Franklin County Auditor’s office.

Wright, who is now a lobbyist, said in 2017 that the Wright and Ragan families have been long-time friends.

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