Donald "Buz" Lukens

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Donald "Buz" Lukens
Buz Lukens 101st Congress 1989.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 8th district
In office
January 3, 1987 – October 24, 1990
Preceded byTom Kindness
Succeeded byJohn Boehner
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 4th district
In office
January 3, 1971 – January 2, 1987
Preceded byWalter E. Powell
Succeeded byBarry Levey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 24th district
In office
January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971
Preceded byInaugural holder
Succeeded byWalter E. Powell
Personal details
Donald Edgar Lukens

(1931-02-11)February 11, 1931
Harveysburg, Ohio
DiedMay 22, 2010(2010-05-22) (aged 79)
Dallas, Texas
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceMiddletown, Ohio[1]
Alma materOhio State University

Donald Edgar "Buz" Lukens (February 11, 1931 – May 22, 2010) was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio. His political career ended in 1990 when he was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Six years later, he was convicted for accepting a bribe during his time in Congress.[2]

Early years[edit]

Lukens was born at Harveysburg, Ohio. He attended schools in Harveysburg and graduated from high school in Waynesville, Ohio. He earned a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 1954. After finishing college, Lukens joined the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of captain after six-and-a-half years of active duty. Remaining a member of the Air Force Reserve, in 1961 Lukens accepted a job as minority counsel for the Republican staff of the House Rules Committee.

Political career[edit]

Lukens was president of the national Young Republicans in the early 1960s.[3]

In 1966, Lukens won a seat in the United States House of Representatives, defeating Democrat James H. Pelley. He began serving in the House in 1967 (90th Congress). In 1968, Lukens won re-election, defeating Democrat Lloyd D. Miller. Lukens chose not to run again for the House seat in 1970. Instead, he made a run for Governor of Ohio.[3] However, Lukens was defeated in the Republican primary by Roger Cloud, who went on to lose the general election to Democrat John J. Gilligan.

Lukens was a supporter of California Governor Ronald Reagan's campaign for the Republican nomination for President in 1968.[3]

Lukens then was appointed to the Ohio State Senate, serving from 1971 to 1986. In 1986, incumbent U.S. Representative Tom Kindness did not stand for re-election for his seat (Kindness unsuccessfully tried to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator John Glenn). Lukens ran to replace Kindness and defeated perennial Democratic candidate John W. Griffin. Lukens started serving this term in 1987 (101st Congress). In 1988, Lukens won re-election, defeating Griffin once again.

Sex scandals and resignation[edit]

On February 1, 1989, an Ohio television station caught Lukens on camera at a Columbus, Ohio, McDonald's restaurant talking with Anna Coffman, the mother of a teenage girl. Soon afterward, a grand jury brought charges against him of contributing to the delinquency of a minor because of allegations that he paid the girl $40 and gifts in exchange for sex when she was 16 years old. Further allegations had been made that the relationship with Coffman began when she was 13, but a grand jury declined to pursue further charges against Lukens beyond a single charge of "contributing to the delinquency of a minor".

On June 30, 1989, a jury in the Franklin County Juvenile Court convicted Lukens of the misdemeanor crimes of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and contributing to the unruliness of a minor for paying $40 to Coffman for sex in his Columbus apartment on November 6, 1988. A friend of Coffman's, a 19-year-old, accompanied her that day, but was not directly involved. The judge set aside the conviction on the first charge but upheld the second, for which Lukens received the maximum penalty, 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. The judge suspended all but 30 days in jail and half the fine, and ordered Lukens to attend sex-offender programs and be tested for venereal diseases.[4] Bond was set at $100,000, which the judge declared "eminently reasonable for a man with no remorse whatsoever."[5]

Though Ohio's age of consent is 16, Lukens' conviction was under a misdemeanor statute that states that "no person shall... aid, abet, induce, cause, encourage, or contribute to a child or ward of the juvenile court (into) becoming an unruly or (delinquent) child."[6]

Lukens made an unsuccessful appeal to the Franklin County Court of Appeals. Of particular contention was the fact that Coffman had a considerable juvenile delinquency record (which included curfew violations, running away, and petty theft), but this record (as well as a psychiatric report) was ruled inadmissible. She lived with her mother, but was a ward of the Juvenile Court. Lukens' defense was that the juvenile record would show that Coffman was already a delinquent and not a reliable witness. The reliability of her testimony was already under attack, as there were significant testimony inconsistencies, a fact conceded by County Prosecutor Michael Miller.[7][8]

Refusing to resign from his seat despite the demands of the Republican leadership, Lukens lost the 1990 Republican primary to state representative John Boehner, who would later become Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

On October 23, 1990, the House Ethics Committee voted to investigate charges that Lukens had fondled and propositioned a Capitol elevator operator.[9] Lukens resigned from Congress on October 24, 1990.[10] In January 1991 he served nine days of the 30-day jail sentence handed down in 1989.[11]

House banking scandal[edit]

In 1995, the task force investigating the House banking scandal charged him with five counts of bribery and conspiracy related to actions he took while in Congress. He was accused of accepting a bribe of $15,000. He was convicted in March 1996 after a second trial, and sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Personal life and death[edit]

Lukens married Toshiko Shirley Jane Davis, a model 21 years his junior, in Columbus, Ohio in June 1973.[12] They divorced in 1983.[13] Lukens died of cancer in Dallas, Texas in 2010 at the age of 79.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1987). The Almanac of American Politics 1988. National Journal. p. 935.
  2. ^ "Disgraced former Ohio congressman dies at 79". USA Today. May 23, 2010. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  3. ^ a b c d Martin, Douglas (May 25, 2010). "Donald Lukens, Scandal-Tainted Lawmaker, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  4. ^ Associated Press (June 30, 1989). "Rep. Lukens Gets 30-Day Jail Term in Sex Case". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  5. ^ Los Angeles Times wire services (June 30, 1989). "NATION : Rep. Lukens Sentenced to 30 Days, Fined $500 for Sex With a Minor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  6. ^ Text from Columbus Dispatch, February 24, 1989, Page 2A. This language is still found in Ohio Revised Code, Section 2919.24.
  7. ^ Dispatch, 2/24/89.
  8. ^ "The appeals court discounted Tyack's [Lukens's attorney] contention that it was not possible to 'cause or contribute' to a child becoming unruly if the child was already unruly. Using an analogy, the court found that a person found guilty of polluting a river may not be the primary polluter but is still responsible for 'contributing' to the pollution." Columbus Dispatch, "Court Upholds sex conviction in Lukens case", June 13, 1990, Page 1A.
  9. ^ Associated Press (October 23, 1990). "Rep. Lukens Target of New Sexual Misconduct Charges". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  10. ^ Rudin, Ken (2007-06-06). "The Equal-Opportunity Culture of Corruption". Retrieved 2007-07-29.
  11. ^ Associated Press (January 12, 1991). "Ex-Rep. Lukens Released From Jail After 9 Days". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  12. ^ Gould, Sandi (June 18, 1973). "Buz Lukens Wed Saturday". The Bryan Times. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  13. ^ David Meyers; Elise Meyers Walker; Jeff Chenault; Doug Motz (16 September 2014). Kahiki Supper Club: A Polynesian Paradise in Columbus. The History Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-62619-594-3.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
New district
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 24th congressional district

January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971
Succeeded by
Walter E. Powell
Preceded by
Tom Kindness
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 8th congressional district

January 3, 1987 – October 24, 1990
Succeeded by
John Boehner