You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Candidate calls for ethics probe

Not clear under state law if Ohio Ethics Commission has jurisdiction over JobsOhio.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald is calling on the Ohio Ethics Commission to investigate financial ties between JobsOhio board members and companies that have received assistance from the state or JobsOhio since Gov. John Kasich took office in January 2011.

The Dayton Daily News this week detailed that six of nine JobsOhio directors sit on the boards of, are employed by or hold stock in companies that got state assistance. Also, JobsOhio helped line up tax incentives for two subsidiaries of Worthington Industries, a company that had ties to Kasich. Kasich served on the Worthington Industries board of directors from 2001 to 2010 and received a deferred compensation payment from the company last year.

JobsOhio spokeswoman Laura Jones said that agency staff recommends tax incentive packages to the state Development Services Agency — not board members. Plus, the assistance to these businesses was renderedbefore JobsOhio was fully operational, she said. Jones said there is no conflict of interest.

FitzGerald, a former FBI agent and current Cuyahoga County executive, said a lack of transparency lead to self-dealing that is not in the best interests of taxpayers.

“I don’t think this is the last time something is going to come out. It’s the first time. We have got to get ahead of the situation,” he said.

He called on Kasich and JobsOhio directors to self-disclose in “real-time” any conflicts they may have. Annual ethics disclosures filed with the Ohio Ethics Commission by the governor are public records but ones filed by the JobsOhio board members are confidential.

He also said Kasich needs to revisit his position against public audits of JobsOhio. While the agency receives a private audit, Kasich signed a bill into law that ensures that the $100 million a year JobsOhio receives from the state’s liquor profits is considered private money and can’t be audited by the state auditor.

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols strongly rejected FitzGerald’s assertion that the board members’ connections to businesses receiving state assistance amounts to a conflict.

“Decisions about which companies are awarded incentives are not made by the board members of JobsOhio. In fact, those decisions are not even made by JobsOhio,” he said. “They are made by a completely separate state entity — the state Tax Credit Authority — which is separate by design to provide oversight and serve as a check on JobsOhio’s recommendations. The fact that he doesn’t know this shows he is nowhere near ready for prime time.”

FitzGerald said he would ask the Ethics Commission to investigate whether the board’s business connections violate JobsOhio policy governing conflicts of interest.

Ohio Ethics Commission Director Paul Nick said the commission would review any requests to determine whether it has any authority to investigate.

State law specifically exempts JobsOhio employees and directors from Ohio ethics regulations. The law includes a conflict of interest policy for JobsOhio that calls for self-regulation — directors have a duty to disclose to the board any potential conflict and the disinterested directors make a determination of whether one exists.

In 2011 Ethics Commission officials urged lawmakers to not exempt JobsOhio from the ethics laws.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Springfield asks voters for tax increase to fix roads, fight drugs
Springfield asks voters for tax increase to fix roads, fight drugs

Springfield city leaders want to increase local income taxes to maintain services, fix roads and hire more police officers, but opponents believe it will make the city less attractive for prospective residents and businesses. Residents will vote May 2 whether to raise the city’s income tax for 5½ years from 2 percent to 2.4 percent. &ldquo...
Springfield won’t follow Dayton, plans to keep red light cameras off
Springfield won’t follow Dayton, plans to keep red light cameras off

The city of Springfield won’t be resuming its red light camera program any time soon, despite Dayton’s proposal to turn its red-light and speed-detection cameras back on later this month to improve safety at intersections. Springfield leaders have said they won’t turn the city’s cameras back on until the issue is settled statewide...
Jon Husted takes steps toward run for Ohio governor
Jon Husted takes steps toward run for Ohio governor

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s as-yet-unannounced bid for governor moved forward today with the announcement that his office’s press secretary would join the Husted for Ohio campaign. Josh Eck said his last day in the office was today and he will become a spokesman for the campaign. “I have been a fan of Jon Husted’s since...
Supreme Court orders refunds for people whose criminal convictions are overturned
Supreme Court orders refunds for people whose criminal convictions are overturned

People who are freed from prison when their convictions are reversed deserve a refund of what they paid in fees, court costs and restitution, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.  "They are entitled to be presumed innocent" once their convictions are thrown out, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the state "has zero claim"...
Turner, state lawmakers upset state declined money for Wright-Patt
Turner, state lawmakers upset state declined money for Wright-Patt

Area lawmakers are upset Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was shut out of a share of $5 million in state aid vowed changes Thursday to a state panel that decided to split the money for projects at two Ohio Air National Guard bases. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner and state Reps. Niraj Antani and Rick Perales spoke at a Thursday press conference about their frustrations...
More Stories