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.