Danny O'Connor, the Democratic candidate in an Ohio 12th Congressional District special election, is accused of inflating his work experience by omitting he worked in a prosecutor's office primarily as an intern rather than as a prosecutor.
O'Connor is currently the Franklin County Recorder, where his biography reads: "After graduating law school and passing the Ohio bar exam, Danny worked in the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office in the juvenile division." O'Connor's Facebook page and campaign website make the same claim.
"When I worked in the prosecutor’s office, we dealt with expungements all the time of folks who got involved in some stuff when they were in high school, got in trouble, your whole life shouldn’t be ruined because of some decisions that you made when you were younger," O'Connor said in March.
The characterization of O'Connor as a prosecutor was taken up by U.S. House Rep. Connor Lamb (D., Pa.), who issued a fundraising email earlier this month calling the Ohio Democrat a "former prosecutor."
The titles that O'Connor held in the Franklin County Prosecutors' Office included "Prosecutor Legal Intern Supervisor" and "Prosecutor Legal Intern Certified," according to Fox.
They weren’t long-term positions and the employment dates resemble seasonal jobs, despite O’Connor’s suggestions that he worked there for three straight years.
In 2011, he was in the county prosecutor’s office for about two months, earning just more than $4,000. In 2012, he was back again in the office for a brief period in January and then again for around three months during the summer. He earned almost $5,000 that year from the job.
The next year he was back for a brief period in January and only after that spent seven months in continuous employment at the county’s prosecutor’s office. He earned nearly $16,000 for the nearly 8-months of work that year, payroll data shows.
Annie Ellison, O'Connor's campaign manager, said in response to the discrepancies that the candidate "never overstated or misrepresented the work he did."
"Danny is proud of the work he did in the prosecutor’s office, has never overstated or misrepresented the work he did, and his campaign did not write or edit the email referenced by Fox News. Voters of the 12th Congressional District care about protecting health care, Social Security, and Medicare — not the wording of an email sent by a supporter," she said, specifically responding to Lamb's description of the candidate.
O'Connor is facing off against state Sen. Troy Balderson (R.) on Aug. 7 to replace Rep. Pat Tiberi (R.), who resigned in January.