Ethics Complaint Filed Against Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine

Jan 31, 2018

A judicial panel will hold a hearing to determine whether Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine violated ethics rules when he participated in cases that involved his father, Attorney General Mike DeWine.

An official complaint filed Tuesday cited several instances in which the Supreme Court justice heard cases presented by lawyers from his father's office. The complaint says "to conclude that the father-son relationship has no impact on Justice Dewine would be to ignore basic human nature."

In response, DeWine said in a statement that he sought legal guidance from the court's in-house ethics expert, and that he has followed that advice to the letter.

“The voters of Ohio knew my father was Attorney General when they sent me to the Supreme Court," Dewine said. “They did not perceive any conflict in a father and son serving in these two positions and I think the voters were correc."

The elder DeWine is currently running for governor of Ohio. If he wins, that could further the complicate the potential for a conflict of interest.