Ohio lawmaker gives up chairmanship after charges

DAN SEWELL Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The speaker of the Ohio House says a southwest Ohio lawmaker has agreed to give up his powerful committee chairmanship after a new indictment.

Speaker William Batchelder, a Republican from Medina, says Republican Rep. Pete Beck will relinquish chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee. A grand jury in Cincinnati on Thursday brought 53 new counts against Beck, including one alleging a pattern of corruption. Beck already faced trial in April after an indictment last year on 16 felony counts.

Beck's attorneys called the new charges false allegations and say that he maintains his innocence.

Beck has rejected calls for his resignation and is running for re-election.