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'Green energy' ballot initiative leader John Clark sentenced for election falsification

Adora Namigadde

A Columbus man who led a controversial $87 million "green energy" ballot initiative was sentenced to 120 days in jail on Tuesday for one count of election falsification.

50-year old John Clark was also sentenced to 250 hours of community service and will pay a $2,500 fine.

The ballot initiative, which failed last year, would have moved $87 million of the city budget to Clark's group, ProEnergy LLC. It was criticized for a lack of transparency by city officials and the Columbus Urban League.

Potential changes to the city council's charter could prohibit citizen-led ballot initiatives like Clark's from happening again. It would prohibit initiatives that would create monopolies, oligopolies or cartels, and prevent the city from being a stakeholder, raising money, or loaning credit to for-profit businesses.

Tyler Thompson was a reporter and on-air host for 89.7 NPR News. Thompson, originally from northeast Ohio, has spent the last three years working as a Morning Edition host and reporter at NPR member station KDLG Public Radio and reporter at the Bristol Bay Times Newspaper in Dillingham, Alaska.