Bradley declined comment and Householder and Oleski could not be reached for comment.
A 1996 advisory opinion by the Ohio Elections Commission says that based on Ohio law “an expenditure for legal fees to defend against criminal charges is an inappropriate use of campaign funds on behalf of the officer holder.”
The federal allegations allege campaign contributions flowed into a dark money group called Generation Now that Householder secretly controlled. He is accused of using more than $400,000 in contributions for personal benefits, including money to settle a personal lawsuit, pay for renovations on a home in Florida and pay off credit card debt.
“It’s a bold move to do this, knowing it would come out in campaign finance reports even before the election," said Chris Devine, assistant professor of political science at the University of Dayton. "It would seem to me these expenses coming to light only reinforces the idea that he was also using campaign funds to pay for other personal expenses in an inappropriate manner.”
No Democrat filed to run against Householder, but on Nov. 3 he faces four write-in candidate:, Kaitlyn Clark, Jay A. Conrad, Robert Leist and Marci McCaulay, according to the Perry County Board of Elections website.
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