And the award for worst headline of the day goes to… The Columbus Dispatch for this misleading BS about the state auditor’s report on JobsOhio:

“JobsOhio: Audit finds no conflicts of interest; some safeguards lacking”

Let’s talk about that conflict of interest thing first, since the Dispatch brought it up.

Back in July, the Dayton Daily News revealed that six of nine JobsOhio board members had financial ties to companies receiving money from JobsOhio.

JobsOhio Spokesperson Laura Jones told the paper that “We have a conflict of interest policy that we have in place that we utilize here at JobsOhio.  If there is a conflict, it’ll be brought to the attention (of the full board) and policy will be followed on how to go forward with that.”

Back in September, the Ohio Ethics Commission also identified potential conflicts of interest at JobsOhio.   Jones repeated her claim, telling the Dispatch that “we proactively conduct our own review for potential conflicts of interest pursuant to those policies. … We take our ethics seriously and we’d review that as well.”

The audit report of JobsOhio released today by Yost shows that “JobsOhio had no clear formal procedure to screen for senior management and employee conflicts of interest or any mechanism for managing these situations” and that “safeguards for detecting, managing, and avoiding conflicts of interest at the staff level were missing.”

And the auditors couldn’t find any evidence that even informal actions were taken to ensure there were no conflicts of interest.   Like someone sending an email saying “Hey mark.  Do you think you might want to excuse yourself from this deal because of all that stock you own in the company?”

Yost’s team only reviewed 28 random projects from the hundreds of deals JobsOhio has or is working on. And in those 28 projects, they found three possible conflicts of interest that the non-existent JobsOhio screening process had somehow missed.  That’s over ten percent of the projects!  Imagine what they’d find if they reviewed all of the deals.

Unfortunately, this is the last public audit JobsOhio is every going to get since Kasich and his Republican pals in the legislature passed a law earlier this year preventing the auditor from doing his job.

Yay! Transparency!

  • dmoore2222

    C’mon. These people agreed to serve on the board because they knew their conflicts of interest would be shielded. And self-policing doesn’t work. Just ask Noe and the Worksers Comp Board.

  • Ramona Hauenstein

    I have worked for the Auditor of State as a secretary, so I’m not an expert. However, only reviewing a portion of the projects is standard. You cannot review all invoices/payments, etc. of a state agency for every grant, etc. The good practices or problems that you find in one project are probably also present in the others, so a representative sample is used. It also depends on the audit standards the audit was conducted under. That said, it does seem rather a small amount, but you would have to have an accountant that understands government accounting to tell you what would meet the auditing standards. Also, it sounds like internal controls are lacking, which should be a major concern. I don’t believe an audit goes into “ethics” of what is going on. If I understand correctly, audit opinions state that based on what was tested, the financial statements do or do not fairly present the financial position of the entity. If there are violations of the Revised Code or money paid out that shouldn’t be, that is covered under citations or findings for recovery. Things which are not violations, but need to be improved are listed in recommendations. Do I think this is somewhat of a whitewash by Yost? Yes. But, the Ethics Commission is the entity I think should be the entity to investigate the bigger problems, such as conflict of interest. Obviously this is not going to happen. Just my 2 cents worth, if that.

  • carrieee4

    Soo tired of politics. Never did I think that once I started following state politics that poiticians were so biased, one framed minded, and so out and out lying to the public. Then there is the press! Really they are not supposed to be biased. However that is not near the truth anymore. Every one owns every one and everyone owes every one. You never know who to believe and who not to. Yet you wonder why the general public do not check things out. This is exactly why. It just can blow your mind and cause you to second guess everything and anything that they put out there. It just sucks the very energy out of you after awhile. This is exactly how they get away with all their lying cheating and scheming in politics. Being a politician should be a noble calling. One where you go to work for the good of the people not the good for you or corporations. It should not be about how much money can you funnel to who or who can funnel money to you. Really if teachers worked like this we would be branded the worst people in the world……oh I forgot. According to the current government we are.

  • Think.

    Yeah, right… and the Warren Commission found no signs of conspiracy in JFK’s assassination..

  • JoyceG

    And unemployment is up again. Three straight months. We’re getting ripped off.

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