Ethics review sought as ex-coaches at Ohio St. defend Jordan - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Ethics review sought as ex-coaches at Ohio St. defend Jordan

By KANTELE FRANKO and KEVIN FREKING
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A watchdog group and a former special counsel to President Barack Obama are seeking an ethics review of U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan even as former colleagues back his statements that he didn't know about sexual abuse of wrestlers while coaching at Ohio State University.

Some ex-wrestlers from the late 1980s and early 1990s say they were groped by team doctor Richard Strauss and that Jordan knew then about the alleged abuse as an assistant coach. Jordan, founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus and potential contender for House speaker, denies that and has said he and other coaches would have reported any alleged abuse brought to their attention.

The group Democracy 21 and former White House ethics lawyer Norman Eisen want to know whether the Ohio Republican made false statements about that. The request Monday to the Office of Congressional Ethics said questions of dishonesty can bring discredit to the House in violation of House rules.

Several former wrestlers have said in recent days that Jordan had to have known of the abuse, based on numerous group conversations at the time.

But on Monday, six former Ohio State wrestling coaches defended Jordan in a joint statement that said none of them was aware of abuse of wrestlers.

"The well-being of student-athletes was all of our concern. If we had heard of any abuse, we would have spoken up," said the statement from former head coach Russ Hellickson and former assistant coaches Dave Ruckman, Rex Holman, Ken Chertow, Myron Kharchilava and Kenny Ramsey Jr.

It wasn't immediately clear whether they, like Jordan, plan to talk with the independent investigators from Seattle-based Perkins Coie who are reviewing the allegations against the now-dead doctor and what, if anything, the university knew about the allegations.

Holman said he hasn't been interviewed, and he wouldn't address whether he'll speak with investigators. A spokeswoman who released the ex-coaches' statement didn't immediately respond to an inquiry about whether the others plan to talk to investigators.

In an individual statement provided along with the group comment, Hellickson repeated a remark he first released last week that appears to offer a more nuanced view of the allegations: "At no time while Jim Jordan was a coach with me at Ohio State did either of us ignore abuse of our wrestlers." Hellickson has not returned messages left by The Associated Press.

Jordan told Fox News Friday night that "conversations in a locker room are a lot different than people coming up and talking about abuse."

He said no one ever reported abuse to him, and if they had, "I would have dealt with it."

Andy Geiger, a former Ohio State athletic director, said Monday he doesn't recall any complaints during his tenure about a team doctor's alleged sexual misconduct with athletes. Geiger told the AP in a phone interview he does recall some concerns about voyeurism in the showers at the university's Larkins Hall but nothing specifically involving the doctor.

Geiger, 79, who now lives near Seattle, also said he doesn't remember being told about Strauss' alleged abuse but it could have happened. Geiger said he doesn't remember Strauss well.

Support for Jordan flowed in from Capitol Hill as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the congressman "absolutely would have acted" had he known about the alleged abuse.

Earlier Monday, GOP Whip Steve Scalise backed Jordan, as did key conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus. McCarthy, Scalise and Jordan are all eyeing House leadership runs.

Ohio State has said the allegations raised so far involve men from 14 sports as well as Strauss' work for student health services and at his off-campus medical clinic.

Strauss died in 2005, and it was ruled a suicide.

His family was shocked to learn of the allegations from news reports and is cooperating with the school's independent investigation, according to a family statement over the weekend.

___

Associated Press Writer Mitch Stacy in Columbus contributed to this report. Freking reported from Washington. Follow the reporters on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kantele10 and https://twitter.com/APKFreking .

___

Have a tip? Contact the authors securely at https://www.ap.org/tips

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, injures 24 others

    New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, injures 24 others

    Sunday, July 15 2018 12:40 PM EDT2018-07-15 16:40:07 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 8:53 AM EDT2018-07-16 12:53:02 GMT
    Authorities say a crash involving a passenger bus and three other vehicles on a highway in New Mexico has killed three people and sent 22 others to the hospital. (Source: CNN)Authorities say a crash involving a passenger bus and three other vehicles on a highway in New Mexico has killed three people and sent 22 others to the hospital. (Source: CNN)

    Authorities say a crash involving a passenger bus and three other vehicles on a highway in New Mexico has killed three people and sent 22 others to the hospital.

    More >>

    Authorities say a crash involving a passenger bus and three other vehicles on a highway in New Mexico has killed three people and sent 22 others to the hospital.

    More >>
  • 'Sheltering wings:' Charleston memorial plan conveys solace

    'Sheltering wings:' Charleston memorial plan conveys solace

    Sunday, July 15 2018 9:23 AM EDT2018-07-15 13:23:05 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 8:52 AM EDT2018-07-16 12:52:57 GMT
    (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File). FILE - In this Friday, June 19, 2015, file photo, the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. lead a crowd of people in prayer outside the Emanuel AME Church, after a memorial service for the nine people killed by Dylan...(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File). FILE - In this Friday, June 19, 2015, file photo, the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. lead a crowd of people in prayer outside the Emanuel AME Church, after a memorial service for the nine people killed by Dylan...
    The historic South Carolina church where nine black worshippers were slain is unveiling the design for a memorial to the victims.More >>
    The historic South Carolina church where nine black worshippers were slain is unveiling the design for a memorial to the victims.More >>
  • 5 years after declaring bankruptcy, Detroit reborn at a cost

    5 years after declaring bankruptcy, Detroit reborn at a cost

    Sunday, July 15 2018 12:23 PM EDT2018-07-15 16:23:58 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 8:52 AM EDT2018-07-16 12:52:55 GMT
    (AP Photo/Corey Williams). In this July 11, 2018 photo, James Murphy, left, and Bryan Knoche work the counter at Fred's Key Shop in Midtown Detroit. Five years after Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Knoche says the sm...(AP Photo/Corey Williams). In this July 11, 2018 photo, James Murphy, left, and Bryan Knoche work the counter at Fred's Key Shop in Midtown Detroit. Five years after Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Knoche says the sm...
    Detroit has seen a remarkable turnaround since becoming the largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy five years ago this month.More >>
    Detroit has seen a remarkable turnaround since becoming the largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy five years ago this month.More >>
Powered by Frankly