Dayton Daily News reporters Laura Bischoff and Jackie Borchardt dropped a bombshell about a brewing pay-to-play scandal in Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office in yesterday’s paper.

You can read the full story here if you are a subscriber. If not, here are the bulletpoints:

  • Mike DeWine loaned his campaign $2 Million dollars in 2010. While many politicians forgive this type of loan, DeWine seems to insist on being paid back. His campaign has returned $1.65 million so far.
  • Meanwhile, law firms seeking work with the AG’s office have donated $1.3 million to DeWine, the ORP and Mike DeWine’s son, Hamilton County Appellate Court Judge Pat DeWine.
  • Many of these firms were given very lucrative contracts with the state under DeWine, in one case earning over $152 million in fees for a security fraud settlement with Bank of America.  Many of these firms actually gave large, and in some cases illegal, contributions during the deliberation process
  • In one case, four lawyers from Labaton Sucharow sent contributions totalling $16,000 to DeWine on the same day they submitted their proposal to his office, clearly violating the $1000 limit for contributions from those seeking an unbid contract from an officeholder. The law firm got the contract with DeWine.
  • In another case, lawyers from Keating Muething & Klekamp, a law firm both DeWine and his son had previously worked for,  gave $7,000 to DeWine a week after they submitted their application. These guys also got a contract with AG DeWine.
  • According to the DDN, AG DeWine is actively involved in choosing who gets the contracts. And DeWine regularly meets with Republican operatives and lobbyists, like Summit County GOP Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, and DeWine’s former fundraiser Dave Myhal, to discuss these appointments. Both Myhal and Arshinkoff represent multiple firms that have received contracts with the state under DeWine.

Mike DeWine has a lot of questions to answer here.  We fully expect this story to get much worse before it gets better for DeWine.