The Ohio House turned over documents held in a state office tower to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday — the same day agents searched former speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s house in Clarksville and a nearby storage unit in Wilmington.
“Many of the documents were former Speaker Rosenberger’s personal effects,” said Ohio House GOP spokesman Brad Miller in a written statement.
Likewise, Rosenberger’s personal items — paintings, plaques, memorabilia and more — were cleared out from his offices in the Ohio Statehouse and the Riffe Center. Rosenberger’s campaign treasurer Bret Dixon carted the material away in a large box truck on May 11, sources said.
The Dayton Daily News submitted a public records request for an inventory of what material was removed. The House has yet to respond to that request.
Miller said removal of Rosenberger’s personal items was done under supervision.
“The Ohio House of Representatives was in contact with law enforcement regarding the movement of his personal possessions. Some members of senior staff at the House, including the Sergeant at Arms, who is the House’s appointed law enforcement officer, supervised and oversaw all aspects of the move,” Miller said. “Steps were taken to assess proper ownership of all items that were moved out of the Riffe Center and Statehouse offices so that no State of Ohio property was misplaced.”
This is a fast-developing story that has ramped up in the past two months. Here is a timeline with links to important stories:
January 2011: Rosenberger starts his first term as lawmaker.
Early 2014: Rosenberger starts using a downtown Columbus luxury condo owned by GOP donor Ginni Ragan.
January 2015: Rosenberger becomes speaker.
March 2016: He travels to China with a payday lending industry executive Carol Stewart of Advance America, who later makes trips to London and Normandy with him.
April 2016: A company controlled by Ragan gives a $209,354 mortgage to Rosenberger’s former aide, Hunter Wright, for a condo. Wright is a registered lobbyist for Advance America and other interests.
March 2017: House Bill 123, a payday lending reform bill opposed by the industry, is introduced but fails to gain traction for the next 13 months.
August 2017: Rosenberger joins legislative leaders from other states on a four-day trip to London, paid for by corporate interests including payday lenders.
September 2017: Rosenberger joins legislative leaders from other states on a week-long trip to Normandy that paid for by corporate interests including payday lenders.
April 6, 2018: Rosenberger discloses to this newspaper that he hired a criminal defense attorney to deal with an FBI inquiry.
April 10, 2018: Rosenberger resigns as speaker. Two days later he makes it effective immediately.
May 11, 2018: Personal items removed from his offices.
May 15, 2018: Rosenberger’s ethics statement discloses he took more than $43,000 in free travel in 2017.
May 23, 2018: FBI raids Rosenberger’s house and storage unit. Ohio House provides documents to the FBI.