The Columbus Dispatch reports that Moelis won Kasich’s gambling consulting contract despite not being the lowest bidder. The Dispatch also says that Moelis’ payoff was $15.6 million, not the $13 million originally reported. Not surprisingly, the paper quotes a gaming industry expert as saying that Moelis is “overcharging the state” and that the fee is “excessive.” He notes that his firm, which also bid on the contract, “would have done it for a third of what Moelis is making.”
As Innovation Ohio spokesperson Dale Butland put it in the story, “it’s unusual to pick a second place finisher in a competitive bid.” And “the sweet deal Moelis got was crazily out of alignment.”
This news is in addition to Innovation Ohio’s report of a troubling relationship between Penn National and Moelis. Is this the beginning of Moelis-gate?