The Ohio Supreme Court justice and Democrat running for Ohio governor in 2018, who posted a now-deleted Facebook post bragging that he shared physical intimacy with 50 woman, Saturday succumbed to the public backlash.
“If I offended anyone, particularly the wonderful women in my life, I apologize,” said Justice William M. O’Neill in another tortured foray into social media.
Shortly after his initial post sparked controversy, O’Neill tried to calm people down.
O’Neill started it all when he posted this extraordinary statement Friday:
Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males. As a candidate for Governor let me save my opponents some research time. In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females. It ranged from a gorgeous personal secretary to Senator Bob Taft (Senior) who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head who was a senior advisor to Peter Lewis at Progressive Insurance in Cleveland.
Now can we get back to discussing legalizing marijuana and opening the state hospital network to combat the opioid crisis. I am sooooodisappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.
The post has been described as a defense of Sen. Alan S. Franken (D.-Minn.), but his groping incident took place in 2006–hardly decades ago.
It could be that O’Neill was somehow defending Roy S. Moore, the Alabama GOP’s nominee in the Dec. 12 special Senate election.
O’Neill has also said that Moore was convicted of nothing, and he’s never had the opportunity to defend himself, and that violates due process in America. The media is about to determine the election of a United States Senate campaign.
Ohio’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor issued a statement expressing her disgust with O’Neill’s initial post.
“I condemn in no uncertain terms Justice O’Neill’s Facebook post. No words can convey my shock. This gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary,” she said.
Democrat Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach also condemned O’Neill’s initial post.
“Disgusting post from a current Ohio Supreme Court Justice and Democrat running for Ohio Governor,” he Tweeted.
Disgusting post from a current Ohio Supreme Court Justice and Democrat running for Ohio Governor. pic.twitter.com/ylyGKTFk28
— Chris Seelbach (@ChrisSeelbach) November 17, 2017
State Rep. Niraj Antani (R.-Ohio) Tweeted his call for O’Neill to be removed from Ohio’s high court.
.@BillForOhio is not a political threat, but he is a threat to the Constitution & a fair and independent judiciary if he is not removed from the Supreme Court: https://t.co/SQ4dEQfS3A @JasonAubryNBC4 @WDTN
— Rep. Niraj Antani (@NirajAntani) November 14, 2017
Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, also a candidate for governor, Tweeted that O’Neill’s post was ill-timed and dismissive.
There’s a very serious conversation going on right now in this country about sexual harassment and @BillForOhio's crass post is ill-timed and dismissive at best. We have to be better than this. https://t.co/Ee1p9q9pc0
— Mary Taylor (@MaryTaylorOH) November 17, 2017
Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis said the retired Army lieutenant colonel missed the point.
“Unfortunately, Justice O’Neill’s Facebook comments that dehumanize women add nothing to this important conversation, which is actually about harassment and abuse, not encounters between consenting adults,” she said.