177.01 Organized crime investigations commission.

(A) The organized crime investigations commission, consisting of seven members, is hereby established in the office of the attorney general. One of the members shall be the attorney general. Of the remaining members, each of whom shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, two shall be prosecuting attorneys, two shall be county sheriffs, and two shall be chief municipal law enforcement officers. No more than four members of the commission shall be members of the same political party.

Of the initial appointments to the commission, one member who is a prosecuting attorney and one who is a county sheriff each shall be appointed for terms ending September 3, 1987, one member who is a prosecuting attorney and one who is a chief municipal law enforcement officer each shall be appointed for terms ending September 3, 1988, and one member who is a county sheriff and one who is a chief municipal law enforcement officer each shall be appointed for terms ending September 3, 1989. Thereafter, terms of office of persons appointed to the commission shall be for three years, with each term ending on the same day of the same month of the year as did the term that it succeeds. Members may be reappointed. Each appointed member shall hold office from the date of the member's appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed, except that an appointed member who ceases to hold the office or position of prosecuting attorney, county sheriff, or chief municipal law enforcement officer prior to the expiration of the member's term of office on the commission shall cease to be a member of the commission on the date that the member ceases to hold the office or position. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall take office on the commission when the member is confirmed by the senate and shall hold office for the remainder of such term. Any member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of the member's term until the member's successor takes office, or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

The attorney general shall become a member of the commission on September 3, 1986. Successors in office to that attorney general shall become members of the commission on the day they assume the office of attorney general. An attorney general's term of office as a member of the commission shall continue for as long as the person in question holds the office of attorney general.

Each member of the commission may designate, in writing, another person to represent the member on the commission. If a member makes such a designation, either the member or the designee may perform the member's duties and exercise the member's authority on the commission. If a member makes such a designation, the member may revoke the designation by sending written notice of the revocation to the commission. Upon such a revocation, the member may designate a different person to represent the member on the commission by sending written notice of the designation to the commission at least two weeks prior to the date on which the new designation is to take effect.

The attorney general or a person the attorney general designates pursuant to this division to represent the attorney general on the commission shall serve as chairperson of the commission. The commission shall meet within two weeks after all appointed members have been appointed, at a time and place determined by the governor. The commission shall organize by selecting a vice-chairperson and other officers who are necessary and shall adopt rules to govern its procedures. Thereafter, the commission shall meet at least once every six months, or more often upon the call of the chairperson or the written request of two or more members. Each member of the commission shall have one vote. Four members constitute a quorum, and four votes are required to validate an action of the commission.

The members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but each member shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of official duties. In the absence of the chairperson, the vice-chairperson shall perform the duties of the chairperson.

(B) The commission shall coordinate investigations of organized criminal activity and perform all of the functions and duties relative to the investigations that are set forth in section 177.02 of the Revised Code, and it shall cooperate with departments and officers of the government of the United States in the suppression of organized criminal activity.

(C) The commission shall appoint and fix the compensation of a director and such technical and clerical employees who are necessary to exercise the powers and carry out the duties of the commission, may enter into contracts with one or more consultants to assist in exercising those powers and carrying out those duties, and may enter into contracts and purchase any equipment necessary to the performance of its duties. The director and employees of the commission shall be members of the unclassified service as defined in section 124.11 of the Revised Code. The commission shall require the director and each employee, prior to commencing employment with the commission, to undergo an investigation for the purpose of obtaining a security clearance and, after the initial investigation, may require the director and each employee to undergo an investigation for that purpose at any time during the director's or employee's employment with the commission. The commission may require any consultant with whom it contracts to undergo an investigation for the purpose of obtaining a security clearance. An investigation under this division may include, but is not limited to, a polygraph examination and shall be conducted by an organization designated by the commission.

(D) An appointed commission member may be removed from office as a member of the commission by the vote of four members of the commission or by the governor for any of the following reasons:

(1) Neglect of duty, misconduct, incompetence, or malfeasance in office;

(2) Conviction of or a plea of guilty to a felony or an offense of moral turpitude;

(3) Being mentally ill or mentally incompetent;

(4) Being the subject of an investigation by a task force established by the commission or another law enforcement agency, where the proof of criminal activity is evident or the presumption great;

(5) Engaging in any activity or associating with any persons or organization inappropriate to the member's position as a member of the commission.

(E) As used in sections 177.01 to 177.03 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Organized criminal activity" means any combination or conspiracy to engage in activity that constitutes "engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity;" any violation, combination of violations, or conspiracy to commit one or more violations of section 2925.03 , 2925.04 , 2925.05 , 2925.06 , or 2925.11 of the Revised Code other than a violation of section 2925.11 of the Revised Code that is a minor drug possession offense; or any criminal activity that relates to the corruption of a public official, as defined in section 2921.01 of the Revised Code, or of a public servant of the type described in division (B)(3) of that section.

(2) A person is engaging in an activity that constitutes "engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity" if any of the following apply:

(a) The person is or was employed by, or associated with, an enterprise and the person conducts or participates in, directly or indirectly, the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of corrupt activity or the collection of an unlawful debt.

(b) The person, through a pattern of corrupt activity or the collection of an unlawful debt, acquires or maintains, directly or indirectly, an interest in, or control of, an enterprise or real property.

(c) The person knowingly has received proceeds derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of corrupt activity or the collection of an unlawful debt and the person uses or invests, directly or indirectly, a part of those proceeds, or proceeds derived from the use or investment of any of those proceeds, in the acquisition of title to, or a right, interest, or equity in, real property or the establishment or operation of an enterprise. A purchase of securities on the open market with intent to make an investment, without intent to control or participate in the control of the issuer, and without intent to assist another to do so is not an activity that constitutes "engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity" if the securities of the issuer held after the purchase by the purchaser, the members of the purchaser's immediate family, and the purchaser's or members' accomplices in any pattern of corrupt activity or the collection of an unlawful debt, do not aggregate one per cent of the outstanding securities of any one class of the issuer and do not confer, in law or in fact, the power to elect one or more directors of the issuer.

(3) "Pattern of corrupt activity" means two or more incidents of corrupt activity, whether or not there has been a prior conviction, that are related to the affairs of the same enterprise, are not isolated, and are not so closely related to each other and connected in time and place that they constitute a single event. At least one of the incidents forming the pattern shall occur on or after September 3, 1986. Unless any incident was an aggravated murder or murder, the most recent of the incidents forming the pattern shall occur within six years after the commission of any prior incident forming the pattern, excluding any period of imprisonment served by any person engaging in the corrupt activity.

(4) "Corrupt activity," "unlawful debt," "enterprise," "person," "real property," and "beneficial interest" have the same meanings as in section 2923.31 of the Revised Code.

(5) "Minor drug possession offense" has the same meaning as in section 2925.01 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 177.01

History. Effective Date: 01-01-1999

Related Legislative Provision: See 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §4