Probe Attempt To Influence Bill

Many local law enforcement officials in Ohio, along with Attorney General Mike DeWine and a substantial number of legislators, want to crack down on “Internet cafes,” which are thinly disguised gambling dens. But the industry may have attempted to forestall such action by feeding thousands of dollars to lawmakers.

Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney Timothy McGinty’s office is looking into allegations a company that supplies equipment to Internet cafes orchestrated a series of campaign donations to legislators, according to a published report. The intent may have been to influence votes on a bill to outlaw the 800 or so Internet cafes in Ohio.

McGinty’s office – possibly joined by state officials – should pursue the probe.

Initial reports indicate no wrongdoing by lawmakers themselves, some of whom appear to have not known even if their campaigns had received donations from the Internet cafe industry.

If it is determined illegal donations were made or attempted, those involved should be prosecuted and, if found guilty, punished harshly.