Sheila McLaughlin reports:
State Rep. Peter Beck is not going to resign from his seat, his lawyer said today.
“Pete has no intention of resigning. He believes he can very capably represent his constituents while he defends these unfounded charges,” attorney Konrad Kircher said.
“I would caution everyone against a rush to judgment. These are just charges at this point. They are not convictions. There’s a long way to go between a charge and a conviction. It’s unfortunate that people are jumping on the bandwagon without having seen our evidence or heard our testimony,” he said.
Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, the Ohio GOP and Ohio Democrats called Friday for Beck to step down following a 16-count indictment in an alleged financial scam.
Beck, who represents Ohio’s 54th District and is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is scheduled to be arraigned 8:30 a.m. Friday before a magistrate in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.
Kircher said he will turn himself in Tuesday or Wednesday for processing which includes fingerprinting.
The Mason Republican faces up to 102 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
Kircher said Beck is not commenting on the charges or the political ramifications.
The indictments involve Beck’s private business dealings in a West Chester startup software company called CTech, or Christopher Technologies.
The charges allege that Beck, who was chief financial officer, and John Fussner, a Mason man who was president, knew the West Chester company was insolvent and did not disclose it to investors. Rather, the men deceived investors to get their money to keep CTech afloat and used the money for other purposes.
Friday’s indictment prompted harsh words from House Speaker William Batchelder (R-Medina), who said Beck needed to relinquish his House seat in the best interest of his district, the House and his family.
Batchelder said the allegations were serious and could detract from the “good work” of the Ohio House of Representatives.
Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges weighed in saying the allegations “if proven true cannot be tolerated.”
The criminal charges follow a civil suit filed by 14 investors in CTech and another company in January. The suit accused Beck, the Milford accounting firm of Donohoo, Cupp, Beck & Associates, Ark by the River Fellowship Ministry in Linwood and others of cheating them out of more than $1.2 million in investments and spending the money instead on personal and other items.
The suit said Beck received $15,000 of the money for his 2010 campaign.
Beck, through his attorney, has denied any wrongdoing and said he is being blamed for the misdeeds of others involved.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said more charges are expected in the ongoing criminal investigation.