State Rep. Carlton Weddington is accused of bribery, election falsification, and filing a false ethics statement.
An Ohio lawmaker has resigned and surrendered to the FBI following an indictment on charges of bribery, election falsification and filing a false ethics statement.
The three felony bribery charges against State Rep. W. Carlton Weddington, of Columbus, are the first for a state lawmaker since 1912, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.
The two-term Democrat took bribes of checks, cash and all-expense paid trips to South Beach, Miami, and Napa Valley, Calif., in 2011, investigators said.
The bribes totaled more than $16,000, said FBI special agent Ed Hanko. They were offered up by undercover FBI agents posing as a business group hoping to get legislation introduced at the Ohio Statehouse.
Weddington, a former Columbus school board member, would face up to four-and-a-half years in prison if convicted of all counts. O'Brien said he expects to ask for prison time as he and Weddington's attorney try to work out a plea agreement.
The investigation began in March of 2010 when information led investigators to believe Weddington would accept bribes.
"You don't just go trolling unless you have a basis to go trolling and that basis existed in this case I would say," O'Brien said.
Weddington's attorney, Sam Shamansky, said "anybody in this position would be remorseful and I believe that his behavior thus far speaks for itself."
Investigators say Weddington has been cooperative. In exchange for that cooperation other charges were dropped. O'Brien wouldn't say what those charges were.
When asked if other lawmakers might face similar charges, O'Brien simply said that the investigation continues and that they don't "have a crystal ball."