News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Wayside Furniture

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government


Ohio governor, board members accused of benefiting from JobsOhio
Democratic gubernatorial candidate calls for an investigation
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Dayton Dailt News reporter Laura Bischoff says she has found evidence that board members and the governors benefiting for JobsOhio.
Courtesy of JobsOhio
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
An investigative report shows the majority of members on the state’s private job development company board, JobsOhio, are invested with businesses that are receiving state incentives through that organization. And that has the Democrat running for Governor next year asking for a complete ethics investigation of the not-for-profit jobs creation agency.
LISTEN: INGLES ON JOBSOHIO

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:03)


It’s hard for reporters to get information they want about JobsOhio since the agency has been set up as a non-profit, job-creation company. Much of the information sought about its business transactions and the people in charge of the is kept private. 

Is the governor benefiting from JobsOhio?
But the Dayton Daily News used security and exchange commission filings, tax databases, Ohio Ethics disclosures and more to come up with some answers to those questions. Laura Bischoff, the reporter who combed through that information, says her story shows there is a potential conflict of interest at best.

"It turns out that six of the nine board members of JobsOhio Board of Directors have financial ties to companies that have received tax breaks, grants, loans or other assistance from the state of Ohio since Governor Kasich took office which we thought was pretty interesting," Bischoff says.

Bischoff says her investigation shows Kasich himself received a payment from Worthington Industries for being a former board member of that company while JobsOhio was providing two of the businesses subsidiaries with an incentive package.

"I wish I could tell you it’s somewhat surprising to me but this is what basically I and others predicted would happen when the veil of secrecy was drawn over the whole JobsOhio structure," Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald says.

FitzGerald wasted no time jumping on this issue.

"I mean part of what’s frightening about this situation is we don’t even know what other conflicts are out there," FitzGerald says. "We don’t know what other lines might have been crossed. We have to guess based on the disclosures of the privately held corporation."

Calling for openness
FitzGerald is calling on Governor Kasich to take the guess work out of the situation. 

"I don’t think this is the last time something is going to come up but this is the first time so we’ve got to get ahead of this situation," FitzGerald says.

FitzGerald says the Ohio Ethics Commission should be called in right now to do a thorough investigation of JobsOhio.  And he says Governor Kasich should disclose all of his business connections and should call on members of JobsOhio’s Board of Directors to do the same. There is talk right now that Tom Charles, the former head of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and a former Inspector General, is negotiating with Kasich to take a watchdog role of some type in JobsOhio. But FitzGerald doesn’t like that idea.


"I’m not going to discourage them from doing anything in the field of ethics," FitzGerald says. "At least that’s an admission that there’s a problem but that’s too little, too late. But what they really should do is have an independent body, not just one person, why not invite the Ohio Ethics commission in on an ongoing basis to do that?"

In a written statement, Governor Kasich’s spokesman, Rob Nichols says JobsOhio board members do not award incentives to companies. Nichols says the state tax credit authority does that. Nichols says FitzGerald’s comments prove "he is nowhere near ready for prime time." Questions about Jobs Ohio are nothing new. Recently, when Ohio Auditor Dave Yost wanted to audit the organization, the Republican dominated state legislature passed a bill to prevent it.  Reporter Bischoff says she is not getting answers to her questions.

"You know it’s interesting in doing this story, I say that all of these companies got these incentives and in JobsOhio’s annual report, they listed various companies that they have helped but when you go and say there might be a conflict here, they say no, that incentive started on the state side and we had very little to do with it," Bischoff says. "Yet they are putting it on their brag list in their annual or quarterly report so they kinda seem like they want to have it both ways."

Reporters and politicians are not the only ones raising questions about JobsOhio and the lack of transparency. Both ProgressOhio, a liberal think tank, and the Buckeye Institute, a conservative think tank are suing in court over the structure of and lack of transparency in JobsOhio.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Akron's Chapel Hill Mall in foreclosure
Not a surprise. Between the shoplifting, gangs and violence that goes on up there it is no wonder that no one feels safe to shop at Chapel Hill. They have sca...

Ohio launches investigation into at least one Concept charter school
I worked at Noble Academy Cleveland as admin assistant and enrolment coordinator for 6 years, I know this is so valid and true and can provide staff names and p...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University