(A) As used in this rule, "committee" means a campaign committee, political party, political action committee, political contributing entity, legislative campaign fund, or ballot issue committee.
(B) All contributions received by a committee shall be deposited in an account or accounts established by the committee within thirty days of receipt or shall be returned to the contributor without being deposited. The treasurer of the committee shall be responsible for making such deposits or returns. A committee shall make all disbursements by check or similar draft drawn on an account at its designated campaign depository. Funds may be transferred from the depository for investment purposes, but shall be returned to the depository before such funds are used to make expenditures.
The treasurer of the committee shall be responsible for examining all contributions received for evidence of illegality and for ascertaining whether contributions received, when aggregated with other contributions from the same contributor, exceed the contribution limits of section 3517.102 of the Revised Code.
Contributions that present genuine questions as to whether they were made in excess of the allowable contribution limits or by corporations or foreign nationals, or in the name of another, may be either deposited in a campaign depository, or returned in their entirety to the contributor. If any such contribution is deposited, the treasurer shall make his or her best efforts to determine the legality of the contribution. No expenditures shall be made using such contributions unless the treasurer has determined that the contribution was not made in excess of the allowable contribution limits, or by a corporation, foreign national, or made in the name of another.
The treasurer shall have been deemed to have made his or her best efforts if he or she has made at least one written or oral request for evidence of the legality of the contribution.
Such evidence includes, but is not limited to, a written statement from the contributor explaining why the contribution is legal, or a written statement by the treasurer memorializing an oral communication explaining why the contribution is legal.
If the contribution cannot be determined to be allowed under Ohio law, the treasurer shall refund the entire contribution to the contributor within thirty days.
If the treasurer, exercising his or her responsibilities, including best efforts in the case of questionable contributions, determines that a contribution was not made illegally, such as in excess of the contribution limits, or by a corporation, foreign national, or made in the name of another, but later discovers that it is illegal based on new evidence not available at the time of receipt and deposit or best efforts determination, the treasurer shall refund the entire contribution to the contributor within ten days of the date on which the illegality is discovered. If the committee does not have sufficient funds to cover the refund of the contribution at the time the illegality is discovered, the committee shall first refund an amount equal to the committee's balance on hand and shall refund the balance of the contribution from the next funds it receives.
Contributions which on their face exceed the contribution limits set forth in section 3517.102 of the Revised Code and contributions which on their face are from corporations or foreign nationals shall not be deposited but shall be returned in their entirety to the contributor within ten days of receipt.