According to recently released records and an investigative piece by the Columbus Dispatch, JobsOhio has received millions of dollars in public funds, far surpassing the $1 Million originally approved by state legislators.

The JobsOhio annual report released Friday (full report here) shows an additional $5.3 million in public grants were provided to the private development organization last year.

Other documents, reported in yesterday’s Dispatch, don’t seem to jibe with the officially reported numbers.   Those documents show contract extensions originally signed by former JobsOhio leader Mark Kvamme and Development Director Christiane Schmenk could have provided up to $11.8 million in state money to the group.

Problem 1: Extra money was provided to JobsOhio without the approval of the legislature or the controlling board.

Problem 2: No one seems to know or be willing to say exactly how much money changed hands.

From the Dispatch:

“Neither Jones [from JobsOhio] nor Todd Walker from the state’s Development Services Agency could say yesterday how much JobsOhio had received. Two veteran Republican lawmakers who asked not to be named said they were unaware of any payments to JobsOhio beyond the original $1 million.”

JobsOhio spent Millions on huge salaries and travel expenses for its employees and on “professional fees” and other costs that aren’t documented with any detail.   They received millions in secret private donations.  And now it turns out they received millions more in state money that the legislature didn’t know about, in amounts that no one can verify.

Paging State Auditor Dave Yost!

According to their mission statement, the State Auditor’s office “strives for clean, accountable and efficient governments for those we serve, the people of Ohio”.

So they should be perfectly suited for investigating this JobsOhio funding mess, which fails to meet even the basic standards for clean, accountable and efficient government.

The people of Ohio deserve to know how their money is being spent.

It’s time for a Special Investigation into the Development Services Agency and the shady funding practices for JobsOhio.

  • DublinIrishBob

    Unless there were teacher’s unions’ involved, ol’ Dave ain’t going to lift a finger.

  • Don’t hold your breath waiting. Yost won’t budge unless the major newspapers hit him hard about this. I smell another Noe type cover-up from the top down…

  • dmoore2222

    This is a blatant money laundering scheme with a direct pipeline to the Kasich re-election coffers in all likelihood. “Follow the money” could never be more apt. This is a prosecutor’s dream.

  • Natasha

    Uh Oh, the games begin as the Republikan apparatchik pursues a bogus investigation into a bogus Republican rip-off scheme. Don’t worry, Kasuck simpletons and sycophants in the legislature will do as told and will pass whatever is necessary to make it all sweetness and light. Yost gets his headlines and Kasuck gets his scheme validated – again.

    No way no how is Yost capable of (intellectually or from a legal practice aspect) taking down Kasuck, or Kvamme and the GOP development scheme. Yost, like most of his political-legal adventures will cave to some minor deficiency as a resolution of the matter and plaster his campaign for ___________ (fill in the blank – US Senator, Governor, Attorney General) as a tuff-guy; Yost’s reward for helping Kasuck perpetuate his flagship scheme.

    This is reminiscent of the Yost declared “void” lease that cost Delaware County several hundred thousand dollars when Yost and his crack legal crew caved. There is going to be a HUGE outside counsel contract to a Yost donor-buddy to handle this matter – just another part of Republican government in Ohio slipping some public money to political pals – a proven Yost practice.

    One Note: Even the great Kasuck might have underestimated Yost’s delusions political grandeur and find Yost wielding the political-stilletto that is slipped between his ribs from behind. Yost has no qualms and relishes that method to advance himself. The Ides of March are upon us.

  • dmoore2222

    Yeah. This doesn’t pass the smell test. Look for a “good cop, bad cop” apporach to this. And it will eventually be called a misunderstanding of some kind. Although who knows. Things like this tend to spin out of control once all the lying starts. I’ve always said the JobsOhio deal will be Kasich’s undoing. Too many moving parts to keep track of. Let’s hope anyway.

  • dmoore2222

    Anyone who would create an entity with virtually no accountability is only asking for a massive scandal. Eventually someone will try to game the system thinking nobody is watching.

  • Retrofuturistic

    Yost is a Republican. He’s not going to do anything because he’s on Kasich’s bus. This should be handled by the federal Justice Department.

  • dmoore2222

    It very well could be. This is gonna blow. Get out the popcorn!

  • I agree- this doesn’t pass the smell test. Somethings rotten in the state of Ohio, and it’s spelled “GOP.”

  • Retrofuturistic

    I’m ready. Can’t wait to see Kasich exposed for who he is….

  • Its been rotten since November 2010!

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