Chapter 161: EMERGENCY INTERIM GOVERNMENT

161.01 Emergency interim government definitions.

As used in sections 161.01 to 161.29 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, and unless otherwise clearly required by the context:

(A) "Unavailable" means either that a vacancy in office exists and there is no deputy authorized to exercise all of the powers and discharge the duties of the office, or that the lawful incumbent of the office, including any deputy exercising the powers and discharging the duties of an office because of a vacancy, and his duly authorized deputy are absent or unable to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office.

(B) "Emergency interim successor" means a person designated, in the event the officer and his deputies are unavailable, to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of an office until a successor is appointed or elected and qualified as may be provided by the constitution, statutes, charters, and ordinances or until the lawful incumbent or a deputy is able to resume the exercise of the powers and discharge the duties of the office.

(C) "Office" includes all state and local offices, the powers and duties of which are defined by the constitution, statutes, charters, and ordinances.

(D) "Attack" means any attack or series of attacks by an enemy of the United States causing, or which may cause, substantial damage or injury to civilian property or persons in the state in any manner by sabotage or by the use of bombs, missiles, shellfire, or atomic, radiological, chemical, bacteriological, or biological means or other weapons or processes.

(E) "Political subdivision" includes counties, cities, villages, townships, districts, and other public corporations and entities whether organized and existing under charter or general law.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963

161.02 Provisions effective during attack.

Sections 161.01 to 161.29 , inclusive, of the Revised Code shall be in effect only in the event that an attack upon the United States, as defined in section 161.01 of the Revised Code, has occurred, and shall remain in effect until terminated by joint resolution of the general assembly.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963

161.03 Succession to the governorship.

In the event that the governor, for any of the reasons specified in the constitution, is not able to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of his office, or is unavailable, and in the event the lieutenant governor, president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives are for any of the reasons specified in the constitution not able to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office of governor, or are unavailable, the secretary of state, treasurer of state, auditor of state, and attorney general shall, in the order named, if the preceding named officers be unavailable, exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office of governor until a new governor is elected and qualified, or until a preceding named officer becomes available; provided, that no emergency interim successor to the aforementioned offices may serve as governor.

Effective Date: 01-08-1979

161.04 Designating interim successors.

All state officers, subject to such regulations as may be issued by the governor, or other official authorized under the constitution and sections 161.01 to 161.29 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office of governor, shall, in addition to any deputies authorized pursuant to law to exercise all of the powers and discharge the duties of the offices, designate by title emergency interim successors and specify their order of succession. The officers shall review and revise, as necessary, designations made pursuant to sections 161.01 to 161.29 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, to insure their current status. In the event that any state officer is unavailable following an attack, and in the event his deputy, if any, is also unavailable the said powers of his office shall be exercised and said duties of his office shall be discharged by his designated emergency interim successors in the order specified. Such emergency interim successors shall exercise said powers and discharge said duties only until such time as the governor under the constitution or authority other than Chapter 161. of the Revised Code, or other official authorized under the constitution or otherwise by law to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office of governor, may, where a vacancy exists, appoint a successor to fill the vacancy or until a successor is otherwise appointed, or elected and qualified as provided by law; or an officer, or his deputy or a preceding named emergency interim successor, becomes available to exercise or resume the exercise of the powers and discharge the duties of his office.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963

161.05 Succession in political subdivisions.

With respect to local offices for which the legislative bodies or boards of cities, villages, townships, and counties may adopt or enact resolutions or ordinances relative to the manner in which vacancies will be filled or temporary appointments to office made, such legislative bodies or boards are hereby authorized to adopt or enact resolutions or ordinances providing for emergency interim successors to offices of the aforementioned governmental units. Such resolutions and ordinances shall not be inconsistent with sections 161.01 to 161.29 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963

161.06 Interim successors by officers of political subdivisions.

This section shall be applicable to officers of political subdivisions including, but not limited to, cities, villages, townships, and counties, as well as school, conservancy, and other districts, not included in section 161.01 of the Revised Code. Such officers, subject to such regulations as the executive head of the political subdivision may issue, shall designate by title or by named person, emergency interim successors and specify their order of succession. The officer shall review and revise, as necessary, designations made pursuant to sections 161.01 to 161.29 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, to insure their current status. In the event that any officer of any political subdivision, or his deputy provided for pursuant to law, is unavailable, the powers of the office shall be exercised and duties shall be discharged by his designated emergency interim successors in the order specified. The emergency interim successor shall exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office to which designated until such time as a vacancy which may exist is filled in accordance with the constitution or statutes; or until the officer or his deputy, or a preceding emergency interim successor, again becomes available to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of his office.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963

161.07 Powers of emergency interim successors.

At the time of their designation, emergency interim successors shall take such oath as may be required for them to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office to which they may succeed. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person, as a prerequisite to the exercise of the powers or discharge of the duties of an office to which he succeeds, shall be required to comply with any other provision of law relative to taking office.

Until such time as the persons designated as emergency interim successors are authorized to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of an office in accordance with this section, such persons shall serve in their designated capacities at the pleasure of the designating authority and may be removed or replaced by said designating authority at any time, with or without cause.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963

161.08 Limiting successions.

The authority of emergency interim successors to succeed to the powers and duties of the offices to which they are designated shall expire two years following the inception of an attack, but nothing in sections 161.01 to 161.29 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, shall prevent the resumption of the filling of vacancies in accordance with applicable constitutional and statutory provisions.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963

161.09 Postponing elections.

In the event of an emergency resulting from enemy attack, the governor, his successor, or interim successor, shall, when in his judgment the public interest requires, postpone any state or local election for a period not exceeding six months. When, because of conditions resulting from an enemy attack, a scheduled election is not held or scheduled appointments cannot be made, the elected or appointed incumbents of affected offices, or their emergency interim successors, shall continue to hold office until their successors are elected or appointed and duly qualified.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963

161.10 Governor to adjudicate disputes.

Any dispute concerning a question of fact arising under sections 161.01 to 161.29 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, with respect to an office in the executive branch of the state government, except a dispute of fact relative to the office of governor, shall be adjudicated by the governor, or other official authorized under the constitution, or otherwise by law, to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office of governor, and his decision shall be final.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963

161.29 Compensating interim successors.

When an emergency interim successor lawfully exercises the powers and performs the duties of any public office, he shall receive the compensation and allowances provided by law for the incumbent.

Effective Date: 09-30-1963