JobsOhio

When Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer lamented the courts' seeming lack of jurisdiction over Republican Gov. John Kasich's privatized job-creation board last week, he joined a growing chorus of the frustrated.

State lawmakers created JobsOhio in 2011 in a bill containing sweeping exemptions from public records and ethics laws.

Defenders of the corporate-style setup say JobsOhio files a long list of reports, disclosures and business filings. But it isn't only Kasich's political opponents who have raised concern.

JobsOhio: Who Can Challenge It?

Nov 8, 2013
Karen Kasler, Ohio Public Radio

Governor Kasich’s private job creation entity, JobsOhio, has been at the center of controversy since it began. Because it's partially a private board, it's free from some of the regulations and public scrutiny that government organizations face.

A lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of JobsOhio was brought before the Ohio Supreme Court this week. But as Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler tells Emily McCord, before that decision can be made, the question of who is allowed to sue JobsOhio must be settled first.

Opponents of the nonprofit job-creation entity JobsOhio believe wording in an independent audit provides new ammunition for their legal arguments.

Accounting firm KPMG deemed JobsOhio a "component unit" of the state of Ohio in the financial review released Friday. To plaintiffs in two separate lawsuits against Gov. John Kasich's signature economic program, that's proof JobsOhio is not private but is associated with the government.

That is a key distinction because Ohio's Constitution prohibits a private entity from using public money.

Ohio's ethics agency has warned six of nine directors of public private job creation agency, JobsOhio,  that their business interests raise potential conflicts of interest.

The Ohio Ethics Commission identified the six JobsOhio board members, including Chairman James Boland, along with three employees after a routine review of their confidential financial disclosure filings.

A JobsOhio spokeswoman said none of the potential conflicts amounted to anything. She said the board has not played a role in any dealings the flagged companies may have done with the state.

Some Democrats at the Ohio Statehouse are introducing a new bill that they say will make sure Governors can’t receive money from private companies while they are in office.

The southwestern Ohio community of Wilmington is a little closer to recovering the thousands of jobs lost with the departure of DHL a few years ago.

The announcement of 140 new jobs and 50 retained jobs at Cole Taylor Mortgage, an investment of $3.4 million, is good news, says Gov. John Kasich, even though the company could be sold to a private equity firm.

“Small banks have a tendency to be bought, and sometimes you never know how it’s, what’s going to happen whenever final decisions are made,” says Kasich.

Emily McCord

Governor Kasich was in Wilmington Thursday to highlight new jobs coming to the city. As Emily McCord reports, the Governor was joined by local officials and business leaders to celebrate commitments by companies to create more than 500 jobs.

Lawmakers in the House say they've cleared up a controversy over Gov. Kasich’s job-creating program – whether the auditor can audit the operating funds in JobsOhio, as he says he can, or whether that money is private.

The state's job creation nonprofit JobsOhio faces a Tuesday deadline to produce its private financial records for the state auditor - or explain why it won't.

Questions have mounted about how JobsOhio is spending its private dollars since Ohio Auditor Dave Yost issued a subpoena last week seeking access to the private side of its books. Yost said he was driven to issue the order after JobsOhio declined to volunteer the information.

Pressure is mounting at the Statehouse for more information on how money is being used by the public/private entity  Governor

Kasich created called JobsOhio. Statehouse News Bureau Chief Karen Kasler joins Emily McCord for PoliticsOhio to reports on the controversy over transparency and what's at stake. 

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