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Noon headlines for April 2, 2012
Former Ohio AG could lose law license, Stables on the block, bonuses at Ohio State, party chairs fight insurgencies, Ohio's Medicaid overspending

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
  • Ohio's former AG fights to keep his law license
  • Historic Timken "Stables" on the auction block again
  • Dayton paper says bonuses are big at Ohio State 
  • Ohio's party chairmen fight back challengers
  • State auditor calls for crackdown on charters
  • Ohio pays millions too much for glucose strips
  • Ohio's former AG fights to keep his law license
    Former state Attorney General Marc Dann will argue to the Ohio Supreme Court tomorrow that he should not be suspended from practicing law for six months.
    Dann quit as attorney general and was convicted two years ago of  failing to disclose outside income and providing improper compensation to two aides.
    He then reached a tentative deal to stay the suspension of  his law license for six months. But the state Supreme Court’s disciplinary panel decided he did not take full responsibility for what he did wrong, and recommended that he actually serve the suspension.
    The case is the first time in Ohio that a former attorney general has been subjected to a suspension.

    Historic Timken "Stables" on the auction block again
    A nearly 120-year-old historic stables in Canton is being  auctioned off this afternoon. The turreted circular building off Interstate 77 had been part of the Timken estate and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was converted into a restaurant, and former NFL player Chris Spielman was an investor. But the restaurant failed, and current owner Hany Potroos now owes half a million dollars on the mortgage to PNC bank. The minimum bid is about $220,000.

    Dayton paper says bonuses are big at Ohio State 
    The Dayton Daily News is reporting that seven medical professors and coaches at Ohio State University got bonuses topping $1 million last year, most of them doubling their base earnings.

    Basketball coach Thad Matta – who got his team to the Final Four -- was the highest earner, with a bonus of about $1.1 million. That boosted his annual pay to about $2.2 million. The second-highest paid employee was a heart specialist who got a nearly $1.4 million bonus. In all, the paper says 4,000 employees got bonuses, up from about 1,700 the year before.


    Ohio's party chairmen fight insurgencies
    The chairmen of Ohio’s major political parties have each logged a very successful campaign in recent years. But Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports that’s not shielding either of them from attempted coups within their parties.
    It’s no secret that Gov. John Kasich has wants Ohio GOP chairman Kevin DeWine to resign, and backers of Kasich and DeWine each claim they won a  majority of the the state central committee members elected in the March primary. That’s important because the committee elects the chairman.
    Stilll, Dewine says he won’t run for re-election in December.  Some insiders want him to step aside now to bring the party together. That includes Franklin County GOP chair Doug Preisse.
    “This certainly is not a power grab by anyone – not one officeholder, not one governor, not one faction even.”
    Over at the Ohio Democratic Party, Chairman Chris Redfern’s term ends in April, and he’s fighting off a challenge from Lorain County party official Anthony Jar-dini, who says he has the backing of unions disappointed in Redfern’s leadership.
    “They want a change. It’s a constituency that we simply cannot ignore.”
    Redfern writes in a statement that he feels he has the support of labor and describes this as “differences within the family.”

    State auditor calls for crackdown on charters
    Fifteen of the top 20 entities Ohio’s auditor has accused of misspending public money are charter schools. But according to the Columbus Dispatch, the charter schools are getting better. The state audited nearly 200 charter schools in 2011, and only one of them had a finding for recovery. In 2007, the state audited nearly 300 schools, and nearly 10 percent had findings.

    Still, Auditor Dave Yost is pushing for a law to tighten up accountability for school treasurers. And the paper says the Ohio Department of Education also plans to get tougher. 

    Ohio pays millions too much for glucose strips
    A federal inspector general says Ohio paid about $8 million too much for blood-glucose test strips last year.  The strips are used by diabetics, and, according to the Dayton Daily News, the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services says Ohio’s Medicaid program  paid $35 for a pack of $50. Medicare – the federal program --  pays less than half that. 

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