Ohio Lobbyist dies in Florida…writing a tell-all book

[LFC Comments: Thanks to a Kirtland lobbyist for this article.]



Lobbyist in $60M Bribery Probe Found Dead

He was reportedly writing a tell-all book about his time at the Statehouse.Mar 17th, 2021Farnoush Amiri Julie Carr Smyth

In this file photo Paul Tipps, left, and Neil Clark, pose in their office in Columbus, Ohio.
In this file photo Paul Tipps, left, and Neil Clark, pose in their office in Columbus, Ohio.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

Excerpts from the article:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A powerful Ohio lobbyist who spent decades at the center of many of the state’s significant policy battles was found dead in Florida as he faced charges in a sweeping federal bribery investigation, authorities said Tuesday. Neil Clark, 67, was found dead Monday by a bicyclist in an isolated area of Collier County, Florida, where he had been living, authorities said.

Clark had pleaded not guilty to the role federal prosecutors allege he played in an elaborate $60 million scheme led by then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder to pass legislation containing a $1 billion bailout for two Ohio nuclear power plants. Clark had denied all wrongdoing.

He fielded media calls for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, for example, as the now-shuttered online charter school wrestled with allegations of attendance tracking errors. Clark also lobbied for some payday lending interests before that industry became the center of a previous House speaker’s downfall.

Federal prosecutors investigating what they dub “Team Householder” described Clark as the former speaker’s enforcer, strong-arming supporters and providing fundraising expertise.

He had said he was writing a tell-all book about his time at the Statehouse.

LFC Announcement: Never tell anyone that you are writing a “tell-all” book. There may be consequences that are detrimental to your life.

Before becoming a lobbyist, Clark was an aide and finance director for the Ohio Senate Republicans, gaining inside experience in state budget-making with which he was able to help his many lobbying clients. Clark parlayed his Senate work into an advertising and communications business and eventually a powerhouse bipartisan lobbying partnership with Paul Tipps, a former Ohio Democratic Party chairman who died in 2015.




Categories: State of Ohio


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