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.

Sloppy bookkeeping noted in JobsOhio audit

Audit to be last public look at nonprofit’s books.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost found sloppy record-keeping and a lack of safeguards for avoiding conflicts of interest at JobsOhio, the private non-profit created by Gov. John Kasich to handle economic development for the state.

Among the findings were that JobsOhio and its related non-profit spent $14 million on non-payroll expenses such as personal charges to credit cards and meals for government employees, and the auditor could find no record indicating that the board of directors approved and reviewed employee compensation.

Yost, a Republican, issued the long-awaited, 23-page audit on Thursday. The audit is the first and likely last public look at how JobsOhio operates and spends millions of dollars. Earlier this year, Republican legislators and Kasich adopted a new law that closes off the JobsOhio books to the state auditor.

Yost said the public interest would be better served if the state auditor were still in charge of auditing JobsOhio.

As it was, Yost had to subpoena records from JobsOhio and conduct the audit under a difficult relationship with the non-profit. “There was some arm wrestling along the way,” he said.

In a press conference Thursday, Yost said that the problems identified could be easily remedied. “The mission of JobsOhio is economic development and creation of jobs in Ohio. We ought not let the process be the enemy of that goal,” he said.

“Safeguards for detecting, managing, and avoiding conflicts of interest at the staff level were missing. Moreover, JobsOhio did not document any actions that it may have taken to informally screen for potential conflicts or to avoid or mitigate actual conflicts of interest,” the audit reported.

The audit covers July 5, 2011 — when JobsOhio started operating using public and private money — to June 30, 2012. JobsOhio subsequently repaid all public money.

JobsOhio Board Chairman James Boland said in a written response to the audit that many of the errors detailed by Yost occurred when the agency was in “start-up mode” and policies were being developed. He also noted that JobsOhio believes the audit was beyond Yost’s authority but the agency participated in the interest of transparency and accountability.

Democrat John Patrick Carney, who is running for auditor next year, said Yost caved to Republican political pressure and squandered an opportunity to conduct a thorough, credible audit of JobsOhio. “This is clearly not what we were promised by Dave Yost, which was a full audit of JobsOhio,” said Carney, who is a state representative from Columbus.

Yost challenged Carney to come up with specifics of where the audit fell short.

Although the state auditor is barred from directly auditing JobsOhio in the future, Yost noted that state law requires the agency receive future compliance audits from a public accounting firm hired by JobsOhio in consultation with the auditor’s office.

Carney promised that if elected state auditor, he will file suit to challenge the constitutionality of the new laws closing off JobsOhio records from audits.

Since Kasich created it to replace the state development department, JobsOhio has been a lightning rod for controversy. The state assigned future liquor profits to JobsOhio, which then sold bonds based on that revenue stream. Supporters maintain that JobsOhio is now funded by private money. “That is a ridiculous statement and it doesn’t pass the smell test,” Carney said.

JobsOhio is exempt from most public records and ethics laws, state audits and open meeting laws. The Dayton Daily News found that six of nine JobsOhio board members had direct financial ties to companies that received state incentives and JobsOhio employs mostly former state workers but at higher salaries.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Husted says he offers new vision for Ohio
Husted says he offers new vision for Ohio

The youngest contender in the Republican race for Ohio governor went straight to the age issue on Monday when asked about 70-year-old Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s decision to run in 2018. When asked about the newest addition to the race, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said, “‘New’ would not be the way to describe...
What people are saying about Mike DeWine’s run for governor
What people are saying about Mike DeWine’s run for governor

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced on Sunday that he will seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2018. He spoke as the DeWine Family Ice Cream Social. Here’s what some of the folks there had to say: “As far as his experience, as far as being able to address the needs of Ohio, everything from our children and education,...
Gov. John Kasich’s website hacked
Gov. John Kasich’s website hacked

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s website was hacked today by a group claiming to support the Islamic State. The Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was also hacked. A screen appeared saying: “Anti: Govt all word. You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people. For every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries. I love...
John Kasich against Senate health care plan; says don’t ‘rush’ it
John Kasich against Senate health care plan; says don’t ‘rush’ it

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday he is “against” the Senate Republican leadership health-care bill as written, although he said he is “encouraging” lawmakers to “fix it” and not “rush” into passing the measure this week. In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Kasich said the GOP bill does...
Ohio Politics Today: State’s newest congressman looks back at first year, JobsOhio blunder as big as the moon
Ohio Politics Today: State’s newest congressman looks back at first year, JobsOhio blunder as big as the moon

Ohio Politics Today runs down the latest and best political stories around the state and recommended reads from around the web.  JobsOhio, the economic development program aimed at helping private businesses in the state, took out a page-sized ad in the widely read The Economist magazine, but left a noticeable mistake. In either a brilliant...
More Stories