A Democrat running for governor of Ohio, who is also a sitting supreme court justice, gave an unsolicited response to the current crop of sexual misconduct allegations that have clouded the political scene of late. At the beginning of the week, the media was focused on sexual assault allegations being leveled at Republican Roy Moore, by Thursday the focus shifted to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and the similar allegations being made against him. Ohio supreme court justice Bill O’Neill boasted of dozens of sexual conquests in a post on Facebook, having decided that he wanted to make a point about how far the “national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions” has gone.
“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. As a candidate for Governor let me save my opponents some research time. In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females.
“It ranged from a gorgeous personal secretary to Senator Bob Taft (Senior) who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn in Gallipolis and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head who was a senior advisor to Peter Lewis at Progressive Insurance in Cleveland.
“Now can we get back to discussing legalizing marijuana and opening the state hospital network to combat the opioid crisis. I am sooooo disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.”
The 70-year-old O’Neill, who resides in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is aged out and must leave the bench in 2018.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor condemned her colleague in a statement. "No words can convey my shock," she said.
Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach tweeted to O’Neill, "This gross disrespect for women shakes the public's confidence in the integrity of the judiciary." She added, "Not only have you lost any glimpse of support from me, (you've) also lost my respect."
Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor (R) wrote on Twitter, "There's a very serious conversation going on right now in this country about sexual harassment and Bill O’Neill’s crass post is ill-timed and dismissive at best." She added, "We have to be better than this."
Asked on Friday whether his statements were proper for a sitting justice, O'Neill told Cleveland.com that "Justice (Antonin) Scalia said that I have free speech rights. I intend to exercise them through the end of my term."