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How Ohio House Leaders Handled The Wes Goodman Case

Nov 22, 2017

Ohio House floor
Credit Ohio Public Radio

More information, including allegations of harassment, is coming out against now-former Republican State Representative Wes Goodman.

The top staffer for Ohio House Republicans says officials have been hearing rumors about Goodman for more than a year but, until this month, there was nothing on which to take action.  Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

When Wes Goodman was running for a seat in the Ohio House last year, rumors started to circulate that the married, right-wing candidate, who was making a name for himself with his anti-LGBT messaging, was gay.

 

The first time House Republican Chief of Staff Mike Dittoe says he heard anything about this was early last year, when someone wanted the caucus to know about the hypocrisy of Goodman’s message.

 

Dittoe: “He was disappointed that Representative Goodman had anti-LGBT rhetoric on his campaign website but was telling us that Candidate Goodman was in fact gay.”

 

What Dittoe and other House leaders knew, and when, is starting to come out in the aftermath of Goodman’s resignation from the House. Goodman was asked to leave when he was caught conducting “inappropriate conduct” in his state office with another man.

 

Dittoe: “To allege any sort of cover up is an absolute mischaracterization of the events.”

 

As Dittoe explains, he would hear rumors of explicit social media messages. And eventually, that included screenshots of a sexually-charged text message conversation between Goodman and an unnamed man. But Dittoe and the House legal team determined that these were not instances that they could act on.

 

Dittoe: “The person was alleging that Representative Goodman might be gay and having social media contacts with people outside of his marriage that is not really within our purview our purview is what happens with House staff and personnel within the House.”

 

Dittoe says Goodman would always deny the claims, adding that they never received allegations that Goodman was engaged in inappropriate behavior with House staff.