On Wednesday morning we called for State Auditor Dave Yost to look into the shady funding practices at JobsOhio after it was revealed that the private development organization received at least $5.6 Million in additional state funding without the knowledge of the legislature, which had only approved $1 Million for the group.

And boy did we get what we asked for – and a whole lot more.

By day’s end Yost had issued a subpoena to JobsOhio, ordering them to turn over financial records he had been asking for since last year.

The next day State Rep. John Carney ODP Chairman Chris Redfern were holding a press conference on the matter and  State Reps. Denise Driehaus  and Michael Ashford were requesting a House Panel with JobsOhio.

Speaker Batchelder even admitted he had no idea where the extra money was coming from, telling the Dispatch  “he wasn’t ‘sure where the number that was in the paper came from’ and [he] would be meeting with Kasich.”

For a day at least, it  seemed like everything we’ve been saying for years about JobsOhio’s lack of transparency and accountability was finally being taken seriously by elected officials from both parties.  It seemed like the truth about JobsOhio was finally going to come out.

Batchelder should be pissed off that the Kasich administration circumvented his authority and didn’t even include him in the discussion about sending millions of state dollars to JobsOhio.  But instead, he turns around the next day and defends the Governor and while attacking Yost for daring to do his job.

Batch was now telling the Dispatch that “there was an arrangement made which I think was visible, I knew about it, and the governor didn’t tell me.”  And he told the the Toledo Blade “there isn’t any power for [Yost] to do what he’s doing … He doesn’t have that authority to go into a private corporation and audit it.”

Actually, Mr. Speaker, he most certainly does have that power.

ORC 117.10 says:  “The auditor of state also may audit the accounts of private institutions, associations, boards, and corporations receiving public money for their use and may require of them annual reports in such form as the auditor of state prescribes.”

And JobsOhio most certainly received public money, not just in the form of the $1 Million initial allocation from the legislature and the millions more in grants the legislature knew nothing about, but also the state liquor franchise which gives JobsOhio billions in state liquor revenue.   And Section 187.07 and 187.08 of HB1, the bill that created JobsOhio, specifically discuss ” public money coming into the possession of JobsOhio.”

Also notice that the law doesn’t say the Auditor can only audit the public money or certain accounts.  It says he can “audit the accounts” of “corporations”.   That’s all accounts.  Including public money and private donations alike. Period.  End of story.

We’re now hearing the Republicans are planning to introduce an amendment to remove this authority from the Auditor as it relates to JobsOhio.

The question is: what are they trying to hide?

Are they afraid we’ll find out the $7 Million in private donations came from big Kasich donors or from companies getting loans from JobsOhio?

Are they afraid we’ll find out friends or family members of Kasich and his associates received lucrative consulting contracts with JobsOhio?

Are they afraid we’ll find out the details of the $150,000 in travel expenses JobsOhio reported last year?

There is no question the Auditor of State has the authority to audit JobsOhio but we’ve got plenty of questions about why Kasich and Batchelder want to keep JobsOhio’s finances secret.

The Auditor needs to be allowed to do his job.   Ohioans deserve to know how their money is being spent.  Kasich and Batchelder have no right to keep that information secret.

 
  • If the citizens and press allow the legislature to pass a bill to cut of Auditor Yost from doing his job without raising a firestorm then we all will get what we deserve. See what happens when right minded folks sit out a mid-term or worse yet, actually voted for that scoundrel…James, Cols

  • Answers to Joseph’s questions about what the GOP is trying to hide:
    1. YES
    2. YES
    3. YES

  • WILLIAM PARSONS

    PB….the Ohio version of THINK PROGRESS.

  • Retrofuturistic

    Bravo, Plunderbund, for keeping on top of this story.

  • Hanhnibal

    This is why we so desperately need true journalists! Thank you!

  • Why can’t that same ORC 117.10 be used to audit charter schools?

  • The auditor does audit charter schools.

    He also audit’s medicaid providers e.g. Doctors, Psychologists, etc.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • Thank you for doing your job as a journalist. I saw on one Jobsohio travel document, two jobsohio employees when to Houston for a 2 night stay. Each had a hotel bill of $530 and they each paid over $1600 for their ticket. If they are going to use public money, they need to expect strong oversight.

    If they want to work in the private sector no one is stopping them. However, working for a publicly funded “non profit” is so much easier when they don’t have to answer to real results and top 3 people make $225k and the average salary is $96k.

  • TJsClone

    Batchelder = GOP Hack/Kook

  • dmoore2222

    Typical Kasich amateurism. This guy NEVER gets it right. Turnpike mess, prison privatization mess, sales tax mess, school funding mess and, of course, this boondoggle that never passed the smell test from the very beginning.

  • dmoore2222

    Wasn’t this the guy who threatened special interests not to come knocking on his door and then turns around and creates an incubator for favoritism with this JobsOhio boondoggle? Donations to JobsOhio from businesses? For what? So they can feel good? C’mon. Businesses instinctively expect something in return for something given. The stench of this gets worse with each day.

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