State Board of Ed member resigns amid ethics concerns

COLUMBUS -- Bryan C. Williams, the District 5 member for the Ohio State Board of Education, resigned Monday.

Williams, 48, of Fairlawn, cited recent media reports made him aware that, as a publicly elected official, he may have violated Ohio ethics law by lobbying the government for private interests.

District 5 includes suburban Summit and Cuyahoga counties, part of Holmes, and all of Medina, Wayne and Ashland counties, according to the state board's website.

Williams wrote in an email to board president Debe and she forwarded the email to other board members.

It read:

"Adherence to Ohio ethics laws and advisory opinions of the commission charged with interpreting state ethics laws is of the utmost importance to me. Therefore, I conclude it my duty to resign from the State of Ohio Board of Education, District 5 effective immediately so that a new board member may be appointed and serve unencumbered by other simultaneous vocations."

In 2011, Williams was appointed to a vacant elected seat on the board by Gov. John Kasich. As an appointed official, state law allowed him to file exemptions that permitted him to simultaneously serve in a public position while still advocating for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Ohio, a consortium of private construction companies.

When Williams won election in 2012, the exemption no longer applied as he resumed office as an elected member.


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