Earlier in the week Tim Ryan along with other Reps. Kaptur, Kucinich, Fudge and Sutton and Senator Sherrod Brown sent a letter to the US Department of Transportation questioning whether it was appropriate for Kasich’s people at the Ohio Department of Transportation to spend $1.5 million in federal money to hire a consultant to research Kasich’s plan to sell Ohio’s turnpike.

Today the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) came back with their answer: Nope.

Kasich’s ODOT Director Jerry Wray believed politics was the reason and he went so far as to send out an email claiming:

… the federal FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez told him he was “feeling political pressure to reverse his agency’s decision on this.”

According to the Department of Transportation, Wray is, to put it politely, a big fat liar:

“Administrator Mendez said nothing about political pressure in his conversation with Director Wray. He told Wray the scope of work as currently designed was not an eligible use of federal funds –period.”

Funny story: this is the second time this week ODOT lied when talking about these funds.

On Tuesday October 4th, the same day Ryan’s letter was sent to Transportation Secretary LaHood, ODOT spokesman Steve Faulkner said “I am certain this is a simple misunderstanding that could have been cleared up if the Congressman had called our office.”

According to Ryan’s office and his press release about the letter, Ryan spoke on the phone with ODOT representatives the previous day.

On a call on Monday, October 3, a representative for the Ohio Department of Transportation confirmed that the State of Ohio was utilizing federal funds from the State Planning and Research Program to fund a contractor advising the State on turnpike financing.

You know you guys can’t just make things up and suddenly have them be true, right Mr. Wray?

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, Kasich will still use the findings to sell the turnpike anyway, even if the report finds otherwise. If he and his  cronies lied about the study, why wouldn’t they lie about the results?

  • Anonymous

    They don’t even need the damn study.  The study is just another way to give $1.5 million of our dollars to a buddy/contributor of his.

  • Anonymous

    No doubt. Even if this money is returned to the federal department it was taken from, the money will be paid back from Ohio’s transportation department fund or from the general fund.  Either way, w’ve been had. Again.

  • guest

    These lies are ALMOST as big as the Senate Bill5/Issue 2 TV adds these dirty SOB’s have been running! Even Kasich’s body wont let him lie effectively, he has a seizure in the middle of trying to say “Its simply asking them to pay 10% of their pension and 15% of their healthcare” I hope he gets locked up along with his Lehman Bros./Special assistant to the Gov…….150K per year for Jai Chabria….Not worth a nickel! NO ON ISSUE 2

  • dlw

    “You know you guys can’t just make things up and suddenly have them be true, right Mr. Wray?”

    Um… isn’t that all they do in C’Bus these days?

  • Victoria_ullmann

    Why would anyone think the feds would pay to study how to sell a road?  Those feds do some wacky stuff, but that is even beyond their crazy ideas.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    FYI  to the public — these people mis-use your money in other ways also. Mr.Wray and his assistants plan to have 12 meetings ( regional or district whichever u prefer to call them there are 12 districts in ODOT)) these meetings will be held over Oct ..and Nov… .All employees are expected to attend even though its not a mandatory meeting ( not yet anyway )  its a 2 hour meeting away from the district offices… so they must travel to get there –use state vehicles filled with state gas.
    So you might as well say this will be 12 days that state employees will get paid to sit and listen to a “talk” about visions and futures of the state plan. None of this is the employees idea — all comes from management ( the same ones who want to give those merit raises!)  
    By the way Wray is retired so he gets pension benefits plus a salary to waste our tax money.
    Yet the state employees are the ones being asked to pay more…. if you would get rid of all the “double dipping” you could save a bundle and provide jobs to those who want them.   
    With the way communication is these days you can send a e-mail with what he wants to say — if he truly has anything to say. 
    Has anyone noticed these folk cant make a decision of any kind w/o getting someone to do a study ?

  • Anonymous

    It is not surprising that Wray and Kasich are trying to get by on the cheep by transferring the cost of their plan to FHWA.  The fact is that there have been three major studies done on privatization of public highways since Blackwell first proposed a sale/lease and the conclusions are always the same – privatization of an existing highway is a give away of public property and makes no economic sense.  It robs the state of future earnings, and cost taxpayers more money in the long run for repairs to secondary roads that will be overused by the commercial and public motorists seeking to avoid tolls that will increase rapidly, frequently and significantly.  The private interests that own the lease will cut services, skimp on maintenance and generally let the weeds grow up in the potholes that will be neglected in the name of profitability.  In 10 or 15 years, when the “concessionaire” decides that they have milked the profits from it they will try to sell it to some other interest that may or may not be friendly to American values and interests.
    This is a bad idea put forth by two bad politicians, and no good will come from it to Ohio or the region of Ohio that is serviced by the Turnpike.  And those scumbag “local” politicians (like China Mike of Toledo) are only interested in making what is left of their terms look good by getting their hands on a little more easy cash.

  • Instead of worrying about how he can grab taxpayer money to fund Kasich’s vision of selling Ohio out to private contractors Jerry Wray should look at why the whole state is perpetually under road construction and why most of those projects are behind schedule. 

  • guest

    They lie, cheat and steal and are killing the American working class and are paid to do so.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  • Adrienne

    Because it is part of the wholesale robbery of us, “we the people” by the 1% evil richies.

  • Anonymous

    And because Wray is one of those annoying little trolls that Kasich keeps in that secret little room in his basement and brings out when he needs some dirty work done.

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