Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill, also a gubernatorial candidate, on Friday night made another Facebook post about calls for him to resign after his earlier post detailing past sexual relations and to clarify his thoughts about the “dogs of war” going after Sen. Al Franken.
“When a United States Senator commits a non criminal act of indiscretion and; and when it is brought to his attention he immediately has the integrity to apologize; and the apology is accepted by the victim: IT IS WRONG (sic) for the dogs of war to leap onto his back and demand his resignation.”
He ended his post with these words to his critics: “Lighten up folks. This is how Democrats remain in the minority.”
He took down his first Facebook message when he posted the second one.
An Ohio Supreme Court justice has taken to Facebook to share details about his past sexual relationships and his thoughts on Sen. Al Franken being accused of forcibly touching and grabbing a woman in 2006.
Bill O’Neill, who is running for Ohio governor, posted on Facebook Friday afternoon stating: “Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males.”
News Center 7’s Jim Otte reached O’Neill by phone, to ask if his Facebook account had been hacked.
"I did post it and I stand by it," O'Neill told Otte by phone.
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, on Thursday called for an ethics investigation of himself after a Los Angeles news anchor came forward with allegations that he kissed her forcibly and groped her as she slept during a USO tour in 2006.
O’Neill continues on the Facebook post to describe the “approximately 50 very attractive females” he’s had sex with in the last 50 years.
“Now can we get back to discussing legalizing marijuana and opening the state hospital network to combat the opioid crisis. I am sooooo (sic) disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago,” O’Neill said in his post. Signing off with a “Peace.”
Among his claims was describing two liasons specifically enough so that the women involved could possibly be identified.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat who is also running for governor, called for O’Neill to resign from the court.
“Sexual harassment, degrading and devaluing women is not a joke. Justice O’Neill should resign,” Whaley tweeted at 1:02 p.m.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor also weighed in.
“I condemn in no uncertain terms Justice O’Neill’s Facebook post,” she said in a statement. “No words can convey my shock. This gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.”
In addition, Chris Clevenger, O’Neill’s campaign communications director, announced on Twitter that he resigned.
O'Neill's entry into the Democratic primary for governor in 2018 is controversial because he chose to remain on the high court but recused himself from future cases.
The Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct requires judges to step down if they run for partisan office. O'Neill, who announced on Oct. 29 that he is running, has a campaign set up but says won't step down because he does not believe he is officially a candidate until he files his petitions for candidacy by Feb. 7.
Those petitions, which require the signatures of 1,000 valid registered Ohio voters, are a declaration for candidacy.
State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, earlier in the month filed a resolution to begin the process of hauling O'Neill before the General Assembly in an effort to remove him from the Court.
The other Democrats in the race are former state representative Connie Pillich of Cincinnati, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Akron.
Many believe that Richard Cordray will enter the race, which O'Neill previously has said would lead him to drop out. Cordray, announced this week that he is stepping down early as the director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Candidates for governor on the Republican side include Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.
O'Neill is the lone Democrat on the state's high court and if he leaves office before his term ends in 2019 his replacement would be named by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican.