GOP leadership team chairman pleads guilty to theft in office

John Matthews (Marion County Republican Party)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The chairman for the Marion County Republican Party Leadership Team has been sentenced after pleading guilty to theft in office.

John Matthews, 50, pleaded guilty to theft in office after it was discovered that he used his personal phone to make calls and send texts of a political nature during work hours at the Industrial Commission of Ohio.

“In January of 2016, the Office of the Ohio Inspector General opened an investigation into the actions of Matthews after receiving an anonymous complaint alleging he was conducting campaign activities during the work day,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said at the time of the indictment. “It was later determined that Matthews was compensated by the Industrial Commission of Ohio for the dates and times he claimed to be working for the state of Ohio, when he was in fact using his personal cell phone to conduct political activity during the work day.”

Matthews was sentenced to one year of probation. He must also pay $4,062 in restitution. Matthews will not serve any jail time. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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