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Ohio lawmaker referred to prosecutor; panel votes Bengals tickets, ethics report broke law

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A legislative panel has determined a state lawmaker from Cincinnati probably violated state ethics laws by taking Bengals tickets from lobbyists then failing to properly report them on required disclosure forms.

Democratic state Rep. Dale Mallory was referred to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien Wednesday by the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee. Mallory's attorney, Mike Allen, says he and O'Brien are working to resolve the situation.

The committee found Mallory improperly accepted tickets from payday lending industry lobbyists in 2009 and 2013 that exceeded the $75 gift limit. Charges were previously brought against the lobbyists.

Allen says Mallory's errors were "clerical in nature" and unintentional.

Mallory is the latest lawmaker caught up in an ongoing investigation into efforts by the payday lending industry to influence legislation. Two others are in prison.

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