Ohio Democrat resigns after FBI bribery sting, charges


Democratic Ohio state representative W. Carlton Weddington has resigned his seat in the legislature following his indictment on three charges, including bribery.

ANCHOR: A state representative is facing charges of bribery. The FBI has been investigating Carlton Weddington for about a year and a half. ABC6 reporter Carol Luper caught up with Weddington leaving jail this afternoon, and is live at the statehouse tonight. Carol?

CAROL LUPER: Bob, the resignation letter is in; within the last hour we got it. Carlton Wedding is no longer representing the 27th district of Ohio. Now the FBI had gotten information from informants that he might be receptive to accepting bribes, so the FBI set up a sting—a bogus business that they say bribed Weddington to introduce a bill that would benefit them in return for cash, checks, and trips. The total amount for a trip to South Beach, Fla. and Napa, Calif.? Over $16,000. He’s also charged with misreporting on several financial statements.

RON O’BRIEN: That report misstates expenditures and total figures.

FBI: Suffice to say, trips were taken, they were paid for by undercover agents, and not claimed by Mr. Weddington.

LUPER: The FBI says they have interviewed Weddington and he is cooperating with them. He turned himself in around noon at the FBI office, and he was booked in the Franklin County jail. He sure didn’t want to talk to me today as he left the jail. He got out of jail on his own recognizance, which means he didn’t pay any money to get out. His lawyer tells me he will plead non-guilty when he appears in court this Friday.

ANCHOR: Weddington was fined for a DUI conviction in 2008—some dash-cam video from that arrest—he avoided jail time after pleading no contest to the charges. Now this was back in the summer of ’08; Grand View Heights police pulling Weddington over for 82 m.ph. in a 40 m.p.h. zone.

According to the Columbus Dispatch Tuesday:

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said the charges relate to an undercover FBI operation that included Weddington accepting trips to California and Florida, allegedly in exchange for services.

Weddington, a two-term Democrat, is charged with one count of bribery, one count of election falsification and one count of filing a false financial-disclosure form. O’Brien, who is holding a press conference this morning with FBI officials, said Weddington has been cooperative with authorities and will be released on his own recognizance this morning after he is booked.