Governor’s Working Group on Reviewing of the Medical Board’s Handling of the Investigation Involving Richard Strauss
WHEREAS, as revealed in the “Report of the Independent Investigation: Sexual Abuse Committed by Dr. Richard Strauss at The Ohio State University,” it is clear that all too often organizations and individuals failed to report allegations of sexual abuse that are received by them to law enforcement authorities; and
WHEREAS, the Report of the Independent Investigation references an investigation conducted by the Medical Board of Ohio which involved Richard Strauss. The Report of the Independent Investigation does not reveal whether the Medical Board ever received allegations that Strauss sexually abused his patients, as references to the Board’s records are redacted; and
WHEREAS, historical reports of organizational and institutional failures to appropriately act such as the Report of the Independent Investigation, should be reviewed and analyzed not only as to what occurred, but as to what should have and can be done differently as well as to ensure that today’s policies and procedures are the best they possibly can be; and
WHEREAS, it is of vital importance that all allegations of sexual abuse received by the Medical Board are reported to and investigated by law enforcement authorities; and
WHEREAS, identifying the victims of sexual abuse and linking them with the necessary services and treatment is essential in the recovery from the injuries inflicted on them;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike DeWine, Governor of the State of Ohio, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Ohio, do hereby order and direct that:
- The Governor's Working Group on Reviewing of the Medical Board’s Handling of the Investigation Involving Richard Strauss (“Working Group”) is hereby created to:
- Investigate alleged violations of statutes or administrative rules regarding the failure to report crimes, specifically crimes involving sexual abuse by Richard Strauss, including any records maintained by the Medical Board;
- Explore whether the Medical Board thoroughly and appropriately investigated and responded to allegations of sexual abuse by Richard Strauss;
- Review the current policies, practices, and procedures of the Medical Board regarding the investigation and reporting of sexual abuse allegations to ensure that they are model policies, practices, and procedures;
- Examine the application of the statutory confidentiality requirements along with the need for transparency in State investigations;
- Prepare a report with the findings of the investigation and with recommendations detailing best practices to achieve full reporting of sexual abuse allegations; and
- Should any unreported criminal activity be found that it be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
- The Working Group shall be comprised of:
- The Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety as Chairperson of the Working Group;
- A representative of the Ohio State Highway Patrol;
- A designee of the Director of the Ohio Department of Health;
- A designee of the Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services;
- A designee of the Ohio Attorney General;
- A designee of the Ohio Auditor;
- A person who is professionally involved in victim advocacy;
- The Franklin County Prosecutor or his designee;
- The Montgomery County Coroner;
- A current or former Sheriff;
- A current or former Police Chief; and
- The Department of Public Safety shall select up to six additional members, in consultation with the Office of the Governor, from State and local law enforcement and local prosecuting attorneys.
- The Working Group shall be located within and staffed by the Department of Public Safety, which shall provide the support and resources necessary for the Working Group to fulfill its obligations as outlined in this Executive Order, in coordination with the Office of the Governor. This shall include space to gather and consider information necessary for developing the recommendations and report called for in this Order.
- Members of the Working Group shall serve without compensation.
- All Agencies, Boards, Commissions and State Institutions of Higher Education shall cooperate and provide assistance as needed to the Working Group in performing its functions.
- No later than August 1, 2019, the Working Group shall submit its written report detailing its investigation and recommendations.
- Upon completion of these recommendations, the Committee shall meet no less than quarterly to access and provide guidance to carry out the recommendations.
I signed this Executive Order on May 20, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio and shall expire on June 1, 2020.
Mike DeWine, Governor
Frank LaRose, Secretary of State