But Democrats have been hammering DeWine and numerous other Republican politicians who took significant campaign contributions from Lager for years while the school posted extremely low academic results.
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A parade of Ohio Republican leaders spoke at ECOT’s graduation ceremonies, including Gov. John Kasich, current state auditor and candidate for attorney general Dave Yost, and DeWine’s current running mate, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Stephen Dyer, education policy fellow at the left-leaning Innovation Ohio group, said DeWine could have protected the public’s money any time in the past eight years.
“But he did it two months from a tough election, with ECOT honorary degree recipient Jon Husted as his running mate,” Dyer said on Twitter.
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The Ohio Department of Education’s enrollment reviews of ECOT found the school overbilled the state by $60.35 million in 2015-16 and by $19.3 million in 2017. ECOT’s appeals were rejected by ODE and the Ohio Supreme Court, leading to DeWine’s filing Tuesday.
The court documents say ODE has collected $17.6 million of those debts, and a balance of roughly $62 million is due, plus costs and interest, with that debt referred to the attorney general for collection.
The defendants in the lawsuit filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court are Lager, former ECOT Superintendent Rick Teeters and Treasurer Michelle Smith, ECOT administrators Christopher Meister, Ann Barnes and Regina Lukich, Altair Learning Management I, Inc., which operated the school, IQ Innovations, LLC, which provided ECOT with curricular services, and the Travelers insurance company.
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