Lawmakers are returning to Columbus after spring break amid mounting questions about an FBI inquiry into activities involving Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger.
The nature of the FBI inquiry is still unspecified, but the Dayton Daily News reports that that Rosenberger's international travel last year may have raised eyebrows – including a trip to London along with two lobbyists from the payday lending industry.
According to the Dayton Daily News, Rosenberger took a four-day trip last August sponsored by GOPAC, a Republican political action committee, and met up with several payday lending lobbyists.
The payday lending industry has an interest in legislation that would put strict interest rate caps on payday lenders. That legislation is set for a hearing on Wednesday.
Rosenberger hired a lawyer, Columbus attorney David Axelrod, in response to learning of the inquiry, but says he hasn’t been told he’s under investigation or been subpoenaed.
A spokesman for Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine has confirmed that he told Rosenberger in a conversation Friday that he should step down if the allegations are true.
The spokesman says Rosenberger denied the allegations. Rosenberger has endorsed DeWine for governor.
The FBI declined to confirm or deny any investigation.