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Ohio Supreme Court Justice Defends Controversial Facebook Post As "Appropriate"

A Facebook post from the only Democratic justice on the Ohio Supreme Court is raising eyebrows today. But in an interview, Bill O’Neill, the only Democrat holding state-level statewide elected office, says he stands by it.

You can hear Karen Kasler's full interview with Justice Bill O'Neill here:Ohio Public Radio and TV's Statehouse News Bureau chief Karen Kasler talks with Justice Bill O'Neill about his controversial Facebook post.

In that controversial Facebook post, O'Neill disclosed he’d had more than 50 lovers and revealed some identifying details about them. O’Neill says his point was to get the past out of the way. “As a candidate for governor I am probably the next victim. I figured I’d make it easy for my enemies just to say, I am not a perfect person, and I would suggest that neither are you," O'Neill said.

He did amend his post to take out details of a few of the more than 50 lovers he claims, but says his post wasn’t inappropriate. “It’s obviously an appropriate post because we’re talking about real issues for real people.”

And though there are calls for him to resign, he says there’s no way. “Absolutely not. We don’t have robots on the bench," O'Neill said. "We have real people. And what my post demonstrates is, I’m a real person.”

O’Neill says he’ll be out of the race if former attorney general Richard Cordray is in, which O’Neill thinks will happen in a week, since Cordray has announced he’s leaving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Ohio Supreme Court Justice Defends Controversial Facebook Post As "Appropriate"

Among those reacting to O'Neill's post are Democratic candidates for governor Betty Sutton, Nan Whaley and Connie Pillich, who are calling on O'Neill to resign, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, who writes: "This gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary."

 

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Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill
Ohio Supreme Court /
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Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill