A few weeks ago DDN’s Laura Bischoff slammed Josh Mandel for hiring a bunch of under-qualified friends to key positions in the treasurer’s office. At least one of those staffers may have violated ohio’s ethics laws, according to a State lawmaker.

One of the staffers mentioned in Bischoff’s article was Joel Riter, a 27 year old kid who got a 2X pay raise when Mandel brought him from the campaign to the treasurer’s office. According to Bischoff, Riter “left the job after six months to join the lobbying firm Cap Square Solutions. At Cap Square he lobbies the executive branch, including the treasurer’s office.”

Riter was also one of the key Mandel staffers who was excluded from Josh’s “transparency” website, his information conveniently left off the list which included names and salaries for all state employees.

Riter’s lobbying was already suspect. As Bischoff pointed out “under state law, Riter would be prohibited from doing business with his previous office for a year.” But now Riter’s activity has turned the head of at least one state lawmaker. Yesterday Matt Lundy, State Rep from the 57th, asked the Ohio Ethics Commission to look into Riter and the treasurer’s office. In a three page letter sent to the commission, Lundy makes the case that Riter and Mandel’s office may have both violated Ohio ethics laws.

Lundy’s letter closes with a summary of the possible violations:

Mr. Riter began directly lobbying the Treasurer’s office only two weeks after he accepted his last payment from the State of Ohio. Combined with the fact that Mr. Riter’s lobbying contract with a New York financial services firm was terminated only days after Treasurer Mandel replaced international custodians with two large New York banks, it seems to suggest that Mr. Riter and/or the Treasurer’s office may have violated Ohio ethics laws regarding post-employment lobbying.

Here’s the full text of the ethics complaint sent by Lundy to the Ohio ethics commission.

Lundy Ethics Commission Complaint Against Riter

  • Spitfiremk1

    I am getting tiered of hearing that puke-faced Mandel’s commercials about how he has put on his boots and saved the country.  A lot of us have worn the uniform for our country, but we don’t consider it as a ticket to the top.  I have a message for Josh:  Stop embarrassing the rest of us with your service, that is a personal insult to those of us who served three, four or more full time years and it looks tacky to those who didn’t.  The last thing we need in the Senate is a frat-house pretty boy.  And by the way, those boots look like you polished them with a Hersey bar – don’t be seen in public with them again!

  • Natasha

    With all due respect, Mr. Mandel’s reliance on his Marine
    Corps service as some kind of qualification for public office is both a
    disservice to veterans and grandstanding by him.  Mr. Mandel has brought his military service
    to the forefront of his campaign and he now ought to be more forthcoming with
    the details of his service.

    For example: 

    A.  Was Mr. Mandel
    honorably discharged or was his separation from the service some other type of

    B.  When and what
    were Mr. Mandel’s duty assignments… was he an infantryman in combat in a combat
    zone or did he serve as a non-combatant?

    C.  When and where did
    Mr. Mandel serve?

    D.  What rank did
    Mr. Mandel achieve while on active duty?

    E.  Has Mr. Mandel
    completed his commitment to serve?

    F.  Mr. Mandel
    should make his DD-214 available to the public.

    G. What schools and training (Military Service) did Mr.
    Mandel attend what were his results in these schools and training, did he successfully
    complete them?

    H. Mr. Mandel should answer the allegation that he failed
    to complete Marine Corps Officer Candidate School.

    I. Perhaps, Mr. Mandel could justify why he thinks his
    military service qualifies him to be a US Senator.  

    It’s wrong to conclude that military service, in and of
    itself, qualifies anyone for anything other than military service.  It is important for Mr. Mandel, and any
    veteran, to explain why his particular military service is relevant to the job
    he seeks, e.g., skills learned as a military cook might be useful if one wanted
    to become a chef or cook in a restaurant, a military-trained pilot might be
    excellent experience if one wanted to become a commercial pilot.  But a superior military cook is not necessarily a capable
    commercial pilot and an excellent military pilot is not necessarily a competent commercial cook or

    Nevertheless, military service in general does
    provide intangible benefits to veterans who learn many things about themselves
    from their service and in particular, combat experience.  Such experience can also harm the individual
    as we see in veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Mr. Mandel must be more forthcoming with the
    facts and conditions of his service if he wants to play the veteran card.

  • Spitfiremk1

    I don’t know if he applied for, was accepted into or washed out of OCS, and I don’t really care.  The medals he earned for efficiency (not valor) and the fact that his duty assignment was not as a combat specialist (he was an intelligence specialist, like another famous republican, Joseph McCarthy of the infamous “McCarty Era” who inflated his military exploits in WWII for political gain) are beside the point as far as I am concerned. There may or may not be a story behind his military service, but that is not the point that I was trying to make – it is simply that it is distasteful to all veterans to try to (as you put it) “grand stand” on what is a duty. 
    Mandel, if you have ANYTHING that shows us you are half the man Sherrod Brown is, put it up.  We already know you’re a veteran, and we know what you haven’t done (your elected job), so show us that you are capable of doing something other than follow orders and blow your own horn – IF you CAN! Put up or shut up.

  • Natasha

    Generally, I agree with your comments. 

    The Officer Candidate School, OCS, situation, however, is somewhat more meaningful.  If the Corps kicked Mr. Mandel out of USMC OCS, then it saw some flaw  of sufficient gravity  in Mr. Mandel that they decided keep him out of a position as a junior leader of Marines.  If Mr. Mandel DOR’d (Dropped on Request) out of USMC OCS, then Mr. Mandel realizd that he could not be a junior leader of Marines. 

    Failed leadership opportunities, whether self-realized or recognized by higher-ups, are not the qualities we – or the Ohio GOP – ought to putting in the U.S. Senate.

    Most medals for “meritorious service” are bullshit and all veterans know that.  Sadly, the USMC was caught inflating and misrepresenting the circumstances that caused the award of the Medal of Honor to the most recent USMC recipient of that honor. 

    Mr. Mandel made being a Marine important, so let’s see all the facts involved.  If he doesn’t want to do that then he should shut up about his service. 

  • Spitfiremk1

    I agree, he is a reckless, pernicious young man who displays no signs of leadership – and he has no socially redeeming qualities whatsoever.

  • Jim

    I have been referring to Mandel equal to something sticking to the bottom of “the boots”.  

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