Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook

Reproduced with permission from:
Timothy E. Pierce and the Franklin County Public Defender Office

R.C. 2921.02 -- Bribery.
State v. Knight (2000), 140 Ohio App. 3d 797 -- Police officer was convicted of bribery for soliciting sex acts in the course of his duties. (1) Passenger was offered a ride home after driver was arrested, but told to get out of the cruiser when she refused sexual favors. Soliciting improper sexual relations may be construed as a valuable thing. Duty element satisfied since officers were allowed to drive people home if necessary, and the defendant had begun to do so. (2) Citation in lieu of arrest on an outstanding warrant in exchange for intercourse supports conviction for both bribery and sexual battery. Same defendant - similar acts issue: State v. Knight (1998), 131 Ohio App. 349.
Curtis v. State (1925), 113 Ohio St. 187 -- Paragraph one of the syllabus: "If a bribe is received, it is not necessary that the act for which it is given be actually accomplished. The crime is complete when the money is received for the purpose of influencing official action."
State v. Jurek (1989), 55 Ohio App. 3d 70 -- Headnote two: "The offense of bribery, as proscribed by R.C. 2921.02(C), is proven when it is shown that an attorney offered a witness $1,000 in exchange for her testifying at court that she would like to drop charges against the attorney's client."
State v. Italiano (1985), 18 Ohio St. 3d 38 -- Attorney gave money to police officers seeking reduction of OMVI charge pending against client. At trial defense claimed that as a former city prosecutor he knew officers did not have ultimate authority to reduce charges. Syllabus: "(1) For purposes of a prosecution for bribery of a public official, an official duty can arise from usage as well as from a written rule or regulation. (2) It is not a defense to a charge of bribery that the official bribed did not have the ultimate authority to do the act sought, provided that the money was paid in exchange for the official's efforts to influence the acts or judgment of others."
State v. Gloeckner (March 24, 1981), Franklin Co. App. No. 80AP-456, unreported (1981 Opinions 666) -- Attorney's involvement in arranging and participating in meeting between client and vice squad officer during which a bribe was offered was sufficient to sustain a conviction for complicity to bribery.
State v. Flors (1987), 38 Ohio App. 3d 133 -- Defendant paid $500 to a friend of a municipal court judge who facilitated favorable disposition before that judge. Conviction stands even though defendant may not have known specifically who would respond to bribe or even whether official would receive any part of the bribe.
State v. Bissantz (1982), 3 Ohio App. 3d 108 -- A commitment to provide employment is a thing of value within the meaning of the bribery statute. Outgoing county commissioner sought promise of future employment in exchange for favorable vote on measure which would have increased pay of elected county officials.
State v. Bissantz (1988), 40 Ohio St. 3d 112 -- Syllabus: "(1) A conviction of bribery in office under R.C. 2921.02(B) may be expunged pursuant to R.C. 2953.31 et seq. (2) A person convicted of bribery in forever barred from holding public office in this state, even where such conviction is subsequently expunged..."
State v. Seneff (1980), 70 Ohio App. 2d 171 -- Headnote two: "A police officer who solicits and receives a reward from the owner of stolen property before returning the property to the owner is guilty of bribery, even though the police officer recovered the property during his off-duty hours, and solicited and received the reward in his off-duty hours.
State v. Knight (1998), 131 Ohio App. 349 -- Police officer traded looking the other way for sexual favors, leading to indictment for bribery and sexual battery. Though counts were severed, testimony as to other incidents was admissible as similar acts testimony.
State v. Adam (1984), 14 Ohio App. 3d 341 -- Public policy dictates that money transferred in a bribe not be returned, regardless of whether the bribe was successful or unsuccessful.
State v. McCool (1988), 46 Ohio App. 3d 1 -- Related charges of bribery and theft in office merge for purposes of sentencing.

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Published by Timothy E. Pierce
Copyright © Franklin County Public Defender and Timothy E. Pierce, 2015
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