Warren Dem Mike Verich appointed to high-level state commission
By David Skolnick
Former longtime state Rep. Michael G. Verich, who spent most of the past 14 years on state boards, has a new state job.
Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, appointed Verich, a Democrat from Warren, on Friday to the three-person state Environmental Review Appeals Commission for a term that expires Oct. 22, 2018. The commission typically meets three times a week. Members are paid $60,000 annually.
The commission hears and resolves appeals resulting from various technical and legal final actions taken by the director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the State Fire Marshal, the State Emergency Response Commission, and county and local boards of health, according to its website.
The commission has statewide jurisdiction and is the highest level of administrative appeal for final actions of those agencies.
Kasich had appointed Verich in August 2011 to a three-year position on the Ohio Lottery Commission board, a position that paid $5,000 in salary. He resigned from the lottery commission for his new position.
“I let [the Kasich administration] know that if there was a position available involving law, the environment and labor, I’d be appreciative if they’d keep me in mind,” Verich said. “I got the call [Friday] for this job.”
Each commission member must have extensive experience in the fields of pollution control and abatement technology, ecology, public health, environmental law, and economics of natural resource development, according to its website.
“I’m fully qualified for this position,” said Verich, pointing to a variety of experience including spending the past two years as a consultant to Trumbull and Mahoning counties on sanitary sewer and water issues, working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and being involved with agriculture during his 16 years in the Ohio House, and having a law license.
Verich was out of politics for about 20 months before Kasich selected him for the lottery commission.
Verich was appointed to two six-year terms by Republican governors — George V. Voinovich in December 1998 and Bob Taft in 2004 — on the State Employment Relations Board, which administers Ohio’s public employees’ collective bargaining act. That job paid $80,000 annually. His second term expired in November 2010.
Verich was first elected to the Ohio House in November 1982, and was elected to nine terms. He never served that ninth term, resigning to take the SERB appointment.