Butler County state lawmaker resigning to lead state funeral board

Tim Derickson, R-Hanover Twp., taking new state job.

A Butler County state lawmaker will resign from office to become the new leader of the state’s funeral board, which has been mired in accusations of harassment and altered records.

State Rep. Tim Derickson, R-Hanover Twp., will resign Sunday as the 53rd Ohio House representative to take on a new role as director of the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.

The state board approved Derickson’s hiring at Monday’s board meeting.

Derickson, 56, represents a district that includes the northern and western portions of Butler County, a seat he’s held since being elected in 2008.

“It was difficult, it was very difficult,” he said of his decision to leave office early. “My reality was I was done anyhow.”

Derickson, who is term-limited in his state representative role, said he isn't familiar with the funeral industry, but was tapped for the job because of other skills he's developed over the past eight years, including working across party lines.

Derickson, a one-time dairy farmer and former health care administrator, “brings a wealth of exeprience from both the public and private sector, and we are excited to have him on our team,” said board President John Rettig Sr.

The state funeral board's former director, Vanessa Niekamp, resigned last month and was accused by the board of allegedly practicing law without a license, according to the Associated Press.

"There's a number of boards and commissions at the state level, but this one's had more problems than most," said Derickson, who finished second in the crowded race to succeed former Speaker John Boehner in Congress. "I don't mind going in to help them overcome some problems."

House Republicans will appoint a member to fill the last few months in Derickson’s term.

“Rep. Derickson’s leadership, strong moral compass and steadfast work ethic will surely be missed in the Ohio House,” Ohio Speaker Cliff Rosenberger said. “He is a very dear friend and I have greatly enjoyed working with him and have always respected his faithful service on behalf of his constituents. I look forward to seeing all that he can accomplish for the people of Ohio in his new position.”

The November matchup for the 53rd Ohio House seat will feature Republican candidate Candice Keller, of Middletown, and Democratic Party candidate Suzi Rubin, who is currently Monroe’s vice mayor.

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