State Rep. Bob Young in Summit County jail. Photo by WEWS.
Ohio lawmakers on each side of the aisle want state Rep. Bob Young, the Republican who is facing domestic violence charges and was just arrested again, to stop embarrassing the state and just resign.
Young (R-Green) is facing three charges: domestic violence, assault and violation of a protection order.
He was in court Wednesday morning via livestream from Summit County Jail. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
After spending the night in jail, Young was released from custody under one condition.
“A GPS monitoring device which you are required to wear 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further order of the court,” Judge Edward O’Farrell told the lawmaker.
It is unclear whether Young will return to the Statehouse with an ankle monitor or a wrist monitor in September.
OCJ/WEWS has been reaching out to Young and his attorney extensively since the original arrest. Since mid-July, all calls, texts and emails have been left unanswered.
Young was arrested by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) in early July for allegedly assaulting both his wife Tina and brother Michael. According to a witness statement, he also assaulted his wife’s friend.
He was charged with two first-degree misdemeanors — one for domestic violence against his wife and the other for assault against his brother.
One of Tina’s friends allegedly caught Young having an affair with a colleague and confronted both him and the supposed mistress, the friend’s witness statement said. This friend was also concerned because Young abused Tina “a lot,” she wrote.
Back in 2020, police reports show deputies were called on Young for a physical domestic disturbance. No charges were filed then.
Both Tina and Michael have restraining orders against Young — which means no contact. Young, however, left three voicemails for his wife on Saturday night, according to SCSO.
The Republican was charged with a first-degree misdemeanor of “recklessly” violating the protection order, according to the Barberton Municipal Court.
The lawmaker’s colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, are done dealing with it.
Inside the House
“How can we have people in a position to make laws when they don’t follow the laws?” state Rep. Ron Ferguson (R-Wintersville) said.
The best thing for Young’s North Canton district is for him to resign, Ferguson said.
“Allowing somebody that’s wearing an ankle monitor to continue to walk around the Statehouse — I mean, that’s completely unacceptable,” he added.
Speaker Jason Stephens asked for Young to step down after the initial arrest in July. He told OCJ/WEWS he stands by his statement.
So far, Young has refused. But Democrats have another idea.
“When I found out that he still has some leadership, specifically over pensions in Ohio, I knew that he needed to be removed from that,” state Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) said.
She is in the next district over and has had to answer to Young’s constituents while he is missing in action, she said. Galonski and Young’s other neighbor, state Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson), put forward a formal request for the Republican to lose his chairmanship position.
“In a perfect world, he would have resigned by now, or he is in the process of resigning, I wish that to be the case,” she said. “But while he’s not, and while no one else is taking any additional action, Rep. Weinstein and I felt now is the time to call for him to be removed from the Pensions chairmanship.”
Young is chairman of the House Pensions Committee, a role that gives a $9,000 pay bump and authority in the House.
Removing his extra pay is the bare minimum, Ferguson said.
“Jason [Stephens], literally at any given moment, can take away your chairmanship as he did to me and three other representatives,” the Republican said. “Take away his chairmanship.”
It is an understatement to say that Ferguson and Stephens have a bitter political rivalry.
Stephens removed Ferguson and state Reps. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) and Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) in May to allow for newly-appointed members to have seats on committees. It just so happens that these three are vocally anti-Stephens, with Ferguson being the most so and constantly fighting with the speaker.
Another anti-Stephens state representative, Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County), was removed from his chairmanship in March after a heated letter exchange between the pair about a controversial bill in Wiggam’s committee.
The speaker’s friendship with Young is why the arrested lawmaker is getting a pass, Ferguson said.
“Jason [Stephens] was there the night of the first incident that occurred, and he has had plenty of time to take action by removing Bob Young’s chairmanship,” Ferguson said. “He has the power to make a difference here, but he’s choosing not to.”
Stephens has not answered any questions about Young’s role on the committee.
The Democrats shouldn’t be calling for the removal of his position — but the total resignation or expulsion, Ferguson argued.
Galonski rolled her eyes at this and said that Stephens already did that.
“I’m not interested in duplicating work and certainly, I will follow the lead of my Republican colleagues who believe that someone should be expelled,” the Democrat said. “They, as you know, could clean up their own house.”
Petty name-calling and pointing fingers at the Democrats doesn’t make sense, considering Young isn’t one of theirs, she added.
“Perhaps the Republican Party needs to do some soul searching regarding if they are really actually ‘law and order,’ if they are really interested in good governance, if they are really interested in…cleaning up their own house,” Galonski said.
Ferguson said he would put forward an expulsion resolution, but since Stephens ignores everything he does, it wouldn’t go anywhere.
“The right thing for all Ohioans would be for him to simply resign and stop putting all Ohioans through this embarrassing look at GOP culture and seeing that they’re constantly in legal trouble instead of fighting on behalf of Ohioans,” Galonski added.
(Former Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder was convicted and sentenced in June to 20 years in prison for selling the Statehouse by taking a $61 million bribe).
OCJ/WEWS has spoken to dozens of lawmakers on each side about this situation and each one believes Young needs to resign, especially following the second arrest.
“This isn’t even bipartisan, it’s nonpartisan,” Ferguson said. “Just get the job done, do the right thing.”
This article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.
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