I do and I donate: Ohio mayor offers free marriage, but hints he needs donations
VALLEY VIEW, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio mayor will marry couples for free — but perhaps the bride and groom might consider a donation to his campaign fund?
Mayor Randall Westfall’s e-mail reference to donations landed him in trouble Tuesday, when state Auditor Mary Taylor referred the matter to the Ohio Ethics Commission.
“Ceremony is at No Charge,” the suburban Cleveland mayor said in a 2006 e-mail, “however, sometimes people choose to donate to my campaign (no more than $50).”
Taylor cited Westfall for two violations of state law: Soliciting a donation for village work and failing to turn over such donations to the village.
Westfall said he’s never gotten or sought a dime from weddings for himself, his campaign or the village. He said the donation mention described a common response from couples when they hear marriages are done without charge.
Published in The Messenger on 12.17.07