102.08 Recommending legislation - advisory opinions.

(A) The Ohio ethics commission, the board of commissioners on grievances and discipline of the supreme court, and the joint legislative ethics committee may recommend legislation relating to ethics, conflicts of interest, and financial disclosure, and render advisory opinions with regard to questions concerning these matters for persons for whom it is the appropriate ethics commission.

(B) When the Ohio ethics commission or the board of commissioners on grievances and discipline of the supreme court renders an advisory opinion relating to a special set of circumstances involving ethics, conflict of interest, or financial disclosure under Chapter 102., section 2921.42 , or section 2921.43 of the Revised Code, the person to whom the opinion was directed or who was similarly situated may reasonably rely upon such opinion and shall be immune from criminal prosecutions, civil suits, or actions for removal from his office or position of employment for a violation of Chapter 102., section 2921.42 , or section 2921.43 of the Revised Code based on facts and circumstances covered by the opinion, if the opinion states there is no violation of Chapter 102., section 2921.42 , or section 2921.43 of the Revised Code.

(C) When the joint legislative ethics committee renders an advisory opinion that has been publicly sought and that relates to a special set of circumstances involving ethics, conflicts of interest, or financial disclosure under Chapter 102. or section 2921.42 or 2921.43 of the Revised Code, the person to whom the opinion was directed or who was similarly situated may reasonably rely upon such opinion and shall be immune from criminal prosecutions, civil suits, or actions for removal from his office or position of employment for a violation of Chapter 102. or section 2921.42 or 2921.43 of the Revised Code based on the facts and circumstances covered by the opinion, if the opinion states that there is no violation of Chapter 102. or section 2921.42 or 2921.43 of the Revised Code. When the joint legislative ethics committee renders an advisory opinion that has been publicly sought, the advisory opinion is a public record available under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

(D) When the joint legislative ethics committee renders a written opinion that has been privately sought and that relates to a special set of circumstances involving ethics, conflicts of interest, or financial disclosure under Chapter 102. or section 2921.42 or 2921.43 of the Revised Code, the written opinion does not have the legal effect of an advisory opinion issued under division (C) of this section. When the joint legislative ethics committee renders a written opinion that has been privately sought, the written opinion is not a public record available under section 149.43 of the Revised Code. The proceedings of the legislative ethics committee relating to a written opinion that has been privately sought shall be closed to the public and records relating to these proceedings are not public records available under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

The person to whom a written opinion is issued under this division may request the committee to issue the written opinion as an advisory opinion. Upon receiving such a request and with the approval of a majority of the members of the committee, the committee may issue the written opinion as an advisory opinion. If the committee issues the written opinion as an advisory opinion, the advisory opinion has the same legal effect as an advisory opinion issued under division (C) of this section and is a public record available under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

(E) The joint legislative ethics committee shall issue an advisory opinion under division (C) of this section or a written opinion under division (D) of this section, whether it is publicly or privately sought, only at a meeting of the committee and only with the approval of a majority of the members of the committee.

(F) The appropriate ethics commission shall provide a continuing program of education and information concerning the provisions of Chapter 102. and sections 2921.42 and 2921.43 of the Revised Code and other provisions of law pertaining to ethics, conflicts of interest, and financial disclosure.

Cite as R.C. § 102.08

History. Effective Date: 05-12-1994