State lawmaker makes motion to subpoena Congressman during hearing on Strauss bill

FILE - This undated file photo shows a photo of Dr. Richard Strauss. (Ohio State University via AP, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio - What was supposed to be a routine hearing on legislation tied to the Dr. Richard Strauss investigation ended up with a surprise move that made waves all the way to Washington, D.C.

Rep. Tavia Galonski, a Democrat representing House District 35, made a motion to subpoena Congressman Jim Jordan.

The Republican lawmaker was a wrestling coach at The Ohio State University from 1987 to 1995. He is accused of knowing about the suspicions of Dr. Strauss but doing nothing to stop the now-deceased doctor. Jordan already has publicly denied being aware of any of the abuse.

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A university investigation revealed that Strauss had abused at least 177 men between 1979 and 1997. The OSU president has since apologized on behalf of the university.

When Rep. Galonski made her motion, the committee seemed unsure of how to respond. Members took several minutes to discuss what to do. In end, the committee chair ruled the motion was out of order. Rep. Galonski challenged that ruling, but the decision stood.

After that, Ohio Rep. Jeffrey Crossman made a motion to subpoena Dr. Ted Grace, who was the director of OSU's Student Health Services, and Dr. John Lombardo, the former medical director for the Ohio State Sports and Medicine Program, among others. That motion also was denied based upon the same procedural grounds.

The motion moved forward after that with testimony from two people named as "interested parties" regarding HB249. Kevin Shimp spoke on behalf of the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice, and Marci Hamilton spoke on behalf of CHILD USA, a think tank dedicated to preventing child abuse.

Shimp argued against the bill, saying it would undermine the goals of statutes of limitation.

"Statutes of limitation play an important role in any legal system because they create certainty, discourage unnecessary delays, and protect the integrity of the judiciary by setting the outermost limit of time for a valid legal claim to be filed," he said.

Hamilton, however, spoke in favor of the bill.

"What we've learned in the last 20 years based on the science, which is what we should be operating from, is that statutes of limitations have empowered child and university predators over against victims," Hamilton said. "It's a very simple choice here between empowering predators and helping the victims of those predators."

In the end, no action was taken during the hearing.

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