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

Published 07-09-2018

0 Ratings

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A watchdog group and a former special counsel to President Barack Obama are seeking an ethics review of 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, a 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.

Also 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.

The school 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.

___

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

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.

The school 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.

___

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

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.

___

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

No comments found. Sign up or Login to rate and review content.

FILE —This Oct. 22, 2015 file photo shows U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on Capitol Hill. Two men who were wrestlers at Ohio State University in the 1990s say Jordan isn't being truthful when he says he wasn't aware of allegations team doctor Richard Strauss was groping male wrestlers, NBC reported Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Male athletes from 14 sports at Ohio State have reported alleged sexual misconduct by Strauss, whose 2005 death at the age of 67 was ruled a suicide. Jordan's spokesman says in a statement the congressman never saw or heard about any abuse or had any abuse reported when he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) - The Associated Press


This file photo shows a 1978 employment application information for Dr. Richard Strauss, from Ohio State University personnel files reviewed by The Associated Press. Strauss, who died in 2005, has been accused of sexual misconduct by former college student athletes. Ohio State says the firm conducting an independent investigation also is reviewing whether Strauss examined high school students. (Ohio State University via AP, File) - The Associated Press