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Ethics Complaint Says Justice O'Donnell Should Recuse Himself From ECOT Case

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O'Donnell accepted a financial contribution from a company owned by ECOT founder William Lager in 2012.

An ethics complaint says an Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrence O'Donnell should recuse himself from hearing a case affecting funding for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, the giant online charter school for which he was commencement speaker in 2013.

The complaint asks the court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel to review whether O'Donnell's ability to be impartial is affected by his relationship with ECOT founder William Lager, including receiving a financial contribution from Lager's company in 2012.

The liberal policy group ProgressOhio and good-government group Common Cause Ohio say they filed their complaint Wednesday.

A message seeking comment was left for O'Donnell.

The court hears arguments Feb. 13 in the case involving ECOT, which recently closed. It's challenging how Ohio tallied student participation to determine ECOT should repay nearly $80 million.