Representative Scott Ryan (R-Newark) and his wife Michele


BREAKING NEWS: Michele Ryan, Wife of Rep. Scott Ryan, Charged in Drug Theft

Legislator Had Spoken Openly Of Effects of Opioid Epidemic

By Cyndy Rees


(NEWARK) The Opioid Epidemic came home to The Statehouse as it was revealed Licking Heights School District teacher Michele A. Ryan, 47, the wife of State Representative Scott Ryan (R-Newark), was charged on July 27, 2017 with two counts of fourth degree felonies for separate thefts of dangerous drugs.


According to the indictment, between March 24, 2016 and March 25, 2016 and on March 28, 2016, Ryan was suspected of stealing Hydrocodone and/or Oxycodone. She is to be arraigned on August 15th at Licking County Court House and will enter a plea at that time. Due to a perceived conflict of interest between her husband and Licking County Prosecutor Bill Hayes, the former Republican House Member also from Licking County, the Delaware County Prosecutors Office is handling this case.


Case information from the Licking County Court of Common Pleas


Mrs. Ryan faces a term of up to 3 years in prison if found guilty on both counts, and could be fined up to $10,000.00. She is to be arraigned before Judge W. David Branstool, the son of former State Senator Eugene Branstool (D-Utica), the author of the state’s collective bargaining act.


The Newark Advocate reports that on March 31, 2016, while her husband was a candidate for State Representative, a woman known as “Shellie” and believed to be Mrs. Ryan was reported to local police.  It is alleged she robbed two different homes, with one homeowner claiming that 100 prescription drug pills known by the trade name Vicodin, Oxycodone, were stolen.  The individual reported that she believed Mrs. Ryan to have been in her home without permission.


The police report also speculates that allegedly Mrs. Ryan made a routine of visiting individuals who had recently undergone surgery or were recovering from accidents, perhaps stealing prescription drugs from them for several years.


In his most recent media release from The Statehouse, Representative Ryan praised the state budget document, H.B. 49 for its work to combat opioid addiction which read in part, ““I would like to thank Ohioans on the frontlines battling the addiction and health issues,” said Representative Ryan, who is vice chair of the House Finance Committee. “From law enforcement, first responders, and treatment professionals to provider agencies, faith-based groups, local governments, and families of those addicted and mentally ill, we are indebted to you for both your ongoing efforts to save lives, but also for your willingness to come from all over our state to offer input and educate us on how to assist you. The HOPES Agenda within the Ohio House budget is a direct result of that input.’

‘To underscore the importance of combating the state’s deadly opioid epidemic, the House appropriated funds totaling $170.6 million in new money to invest in prevention, treatment, mental health care, and workforce programs through the HOPES (Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education and Safety) Agenda.”


Ryan, the Vice Chairman of the House Finance Committee, is in his second two year term as a Member of The House.  


Mrs. Ryan remains a public school teacher with the Licking Heights School District, and it is not known if she will start the school year in the classroom at this time.