OneOhio, which will also seek long-term solutions to the opioid epidemic, says it is trying to stick with what the settlement provides.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state commission that will decide how Ohio distributes more than half of the money it will receive from a nationwide settlement over the opioid addiction crisis must make its records public, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In their unanimous ruling, the justices dismissed OneOhio Recovery Fundclaims it is a private, nonprofit corporation and therefore not subject to the state’s open public records law. The judges found that the foundation “misdefines its function”, noting that it is not responsible for providing treatment, education or prevention services, but gives money to those who provide such services.

The ruling follows a lawsuit filed by the drug policy reform group Harm Reduction Ohio, which sought documents related to expert panel meetings and “numerous” committee meetings related to “hiring, finance, bylaws and other matters.” The reform group also said its president was not allowed to attend the group’s first meeting in May 2022, even though officials said it would operate as if it were subject to Ohio’s open meetings law.

The 29-member commission is made up of state representatives, local leaders, addiction treatment experts and others from around the state. He will decide how to distribute more than $440 million of the $808 million reached last year with the nation’s three largest pharmaceutical distributors and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson.

OneOhio, which will also seek long-term solutions to the opioid epidemic, says it’s trying to stick to what the settlement says it should be — to be a private nonprofit — and that openly saying it’s a public entity would jeopardize that status.

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