by Marc KovacCapital Bureau ChiefCOLUMBUS -- The Ohio House signed off on legislation June 14 aimed at penalizing corrupt office-holders for wrongdoing during the course of their official duties.Substitute House Bill 8, sponsored by Rep. Bob Hagan, (D-Youngstown), would require public employees convicted of certain felonies to forfeit disability benefits or pensions offered through public retirement systems."It's a great bill to ensure that people are going to think real hard about doing the wrong thing," said Rep. Dan Stewart, (D-Columbus.)Hagan offered the legislation to counter wrongdoing among office-holders in his district. During committee testimony, he released a list of 16 public officials from Mahoning County who have been prosecuted for taking bribes, fixing cases and other wrongdoing while in office. "They had taken the public trust as public servants and sold that trust in a multitude of ways," he said.The legislation covers public employees or office-holders found guilty of felony extortion, bribery, perjury, obstructing justice, theft in office, unlawful interest in a public contract or engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. They would forfeit their right to receive disability or pension benefits, according to an analysis compiled by the state's Legislative Service Commission.The bill passed by a vote of 92-3, with Reps. Kathleen Chandler (D-Kent), Bruce Goodwin (R-Defiance) and Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) opposing.Wachtmann said he agreed with the thrust of the legislation but was concerned that wording might imply that the state retirement systems had to provide health care benefits.Marc Kovac is the Dix Newspapers Capital Bureau chief. E-mail him at His Capital Blog can be found online at