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Ohio: Former Corrections Director Prohibited from Consulting on Jail Issues for 12 Months After Retirement

Responding to a request for an advisory opinion from Terry J. Collins, who retired as Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) effective January 31, 2010, the Ohio Ethics Commission concluded that the state’s Revolving Door Law, R.C. 102.03(A)(1), which was designed to prohibit former public officials from realizing personal gain at public expense by the use of “insider” information, prohibited Collins from serving as a consultant in a case involving a county jail for one year after his retirement.

After announcing his plans to retire, Collins was contacted by an attorney who requested that he consider serving as an expert consultant (after leaving state service) in a case where he would be required to render an opinion on the adequacy of a county jail’s procedures for classifying prisoners based on their security needs. Noting that Collins’ role as ODRC Director had included the development and promulgation of mandatory operational standards for Ohio jails, the Ethics Commission had little trouble concluding that his proposed employment as an expert consultant fell within the ambit of the Revolving Door Law, and thus would be prohibited.

To his credit, Collins had sought the advisory opinion from the Ohio Ethics Commission before the effective date of his retirement.

Source: Ohio Ethics Commission letter dated March 10, 2010

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