The Ohio Ethics law requires certain elected officials, candidates for elected offices, public employees and appointees to public positions to annually file a financial disclosure statement with the Ohio Ethics Commission.
These disclosure statements require a filer to disclose information regarding their personal financial interests and fiduciary relationships for the preceding calendar year. According to the Ohio Ethics Commission, the purpose of filing a financial disclosure statement is to increase confidence in government and openness by: 1) assisting public servants in identifying potential conflicts of interest; and 2) allowing citizens to become aware of the financial interests of the officials and employees who serve them.
The law requires the following two groups of school district and ESC officials to file financial disclosure statements.
- All school district and ESC superintendents, treasurers and business managers.
- School district board members and ESC governing board members in districts with a total student count of 12,000 or more, as most recently determined by the department of education
The filing deadline for calendar year 2016 financial disclosure statements is Monday, May 15, 2017. There are penalties, including late fees and possible fourth-degree misdemeanor criminal charges, for any filers who fail to file their statements on time.
Individuals who are required to file may file online at https://disclosure.ethics.ohio.gov/. Filers may also deliver their statements in person or mail completed statements to the Ohio Ethics Commission. The Ohio Ethics Commission has additional information about this legal requirement on its website, including the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions they’ve received on the topic.
OSBA also has additional information on financial disclosure statements in The Ohio School Ethics Guide, which was updated by the association’s division of legal services last fall.