Dem presses development official on JobsOhio

COLUMBUS (AP) — A Democratic state representative and party leader tried and failed today to put a temporary halt to some development spending amid a dispute involving Gov. John Kasich’s private job-creation entity, JobsOhio.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman and state Rep. Chris Redfern held nine spending requests — totaling more than $17.7 million — for the Ohio Development Services Agency in hopes of sparking discussion of about $5 million in state money that was somehow transferred to JobsOhio without legislative approval. The Controlling Board ultimately approved the items.

Auditor Dave Yost, Kasich’s fellow Republican, has subpoenaed JobsOhio’s financial records as he undertakes an audit. The Kasich administration and GOP state legislative leaders have said the audit of private funds is outside Yost’s authority — as would be the private books of any business.

Redfern asked the agency’s legislative liaison, John Mahaney, whether the money being distributed through today’s requests would be subject to such an audit.

Mahaney couldn’t readily answer, nor was he prepared to discuss how the $5 million previously administered by the Ohio Business Development Coalition got in the hands of the private job-creation entity.

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