145.057 Disqualification of convicted member - misconduct in office - removal procedure.

(A) The office of a member of the public employees retirement board who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a felony, a theft offense as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, or a violation of section 102.02 , 102.03 , 102.04 , 2921.02 , 2921.11 , 2921.13 , 2921.31 , 2921.41 , 2921.42 , 2921.43 , or 2921.44 of the Revised Code shall be deemed vacant. A person who has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of an offense of that nature is ineligible for election or appointment to the public employees retirement board.

(B) A member of the public employees retirement board who willfully and flagrantly exercises authority or power not authorized by law, refuses or willfully neglects to enforce the law or to perform any official duty imposed by law, or is guilty of gross neglect of duty, gross immorality, drunkenness, misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance is guilty of misconduct in office. On complaint and hearing in the manner provided for in this section, the board member shall have judgment of forfeiture of the office with all its emoluments entered against the board member, creating in the office a vacancy to be filled as provided by law.

(C) Proceedings for removal of a board member on any of the grounds enumerated in division (B) of this section shall be commenced by filing with the court of common pleas of the county in which the board member resides a written complaint specifically setting forth the charge. The complaint shall be accepted if signed by the governor or signed as follows:

(1) If the complaint is against an employee member of the board, the complaint must be signed by a number of members of the employee group represented by the member that equals at least the following and must include signatures of at least twenty employee members residing in at least five different counties:

(a) If the employee member was most recently elected in accordance with section 145.05 of the Revised Code, ten per cent of the number of members of the employee group represented by the employee member who voted in that election;

(b) If the employee member was most recently elected under section 145.06 of the Revised Code or took office in accordance with section 145.051 of the Revised Code, ten per cent of the number of members of the employee group represented by the employee member who voted in the most recent election held in accordance with section 145.05 of the Revised Code for that employee member position on the board.

(2) If the complaint is against a retirant member of the board, the complaint must be signed by a number of former members of the system authorized to vote for a retirant member in an election under section 145.05 of the Revised Code that equals at least the following and must include signatures of at least twenty former members residing in at least five different counties:

(a) If the retirant member was most recently elected in accordance with section 145.05 of the Revised Code, ten per cent of the number of former members of the system who voted in that election;

(b) If the retirant member was most recently elected under section 145.06 of the Revised Code or took office in accordance with section 145.051 of the Revised Code, ten per cent of the number of former members of the system who voted in the most recent election held in accordance with section 145.05 of the Revised Code for that retirant member position on the board.

(D) The clerk of the court of common pleas in which a complaint against a member of the board is filed under division (C) of this section shall do both of the following with respect to the complaint:

(1) Submit the signatures obtained pursuant to division (C) of this section to the board for purposes of verifying the validity of the signatures. The board shall verify the validity of the signatures and report its findings to the court.

(2) Cause a copy of the complaint to be served on the board member at least ten days before the hearing on the complaint. The court shall hold a public hearing not later than thirty days after the filing of the complaint. The court may subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance in the same manner as in civil cases. Process shall be served by the sheriff of the county in which the witness resides. Witness fees and other fees in connection with the proceedings shall be the same as in civil cases. The court may suspend the board member pending the hearing.

If the court finds that one or more of the charges in the complaint are true, it shall make a finding for removal of the board member. The court's finding shall include a full, detailed statement of the reasons for the removal. The finding shall be filed with the clerk of the court and be made a matter of public record.

The board member has the right to appeal to the court of appeals.

(E) No individual who has been removed from the board pursuant to this section shall be eligible to fill an elective or appointed position as a member of the board.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.148, SB 343, §1, eff. 1/7/2013.

Effective Date: 09-15-2004; 04-06-2007