Embattled Ohio lawmaker won't be charged, and he wants his Statehouse privileges back
The City of Cleveland is not going to charge a state lawmaker for allegedly stalking another Democratic legislator.
The city’s prosecutor’s office said Democratic Rep. Elliot Forhan (D-South Euclid) is not being charged because police asked for but did not receive evidence of the crime alleged against him. Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) had accused Forhan of coming to her home, uninvited, after dark in November. She also alleged someone who resembled Forhan slowly drove down her street, past her home.
Forhan says there’s no evidence of him stalking Brent because he didn’t do it.
“I’ve always known that the claims had no merit. I’ve always known that there could be no video or letter because I didn’t do any of that,” Forhan said.
Attempts to reach Brent for her side of the story were unsuccessful.
Brent’s allegations are not the only ones Forhan is facing. His access to his office and other lawmakers on Capitol Square has been revoked. And legislative leaders have ordered a state investigation into Forhan’s behavior after a report released by House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) accused him of a “pattern of harassment, hostility, and intimidation of colleagues and staff.” The report came after Forhan, who has shared many pro-Palestinian videos on social media and also represents the largest Jewish community in the state, was asked to remove an Israeli flag he put up outside his office. Forhan's office is next to the office of a lawmaker who is Muslim.
Forhan denied the allegations that he's behaved inappropriately or has harrassed anyone.
“Russo’s memo was and is a smear on me. Without the release of Russo’s memo, would my other colleague [Brent] made the report that she made? I don’t know but candidly, I doubt it,” Forhan said.
Forhan said the allegations are unfairly hurting his credibility. And he said he’s made it clear to House leaders that he wants his Statehouse privileges restored.
“I need to get the truth out and set the record straight because frankly, the public deserves honesty,” Forhan said.
Forhan isn’t ruling out taking court action against the state but added he really just wants to be able to get back to work for the people he serves.