For Immediate Release: March 18, 2013
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
JOBSOHIO BLOWS $1 MILLION ON OFFICE EXPENSES
Documents Reveal Furniture, Remodeling Among Lavish Expenditures
COLUMBUS – An independent audit of JobsOhio spending by KPMG and a required annual report from the Ohio Department of Development show that JobsOhio spent $1.196 million — more than its entire “startup” appropriation from the state — on “office expenses” during its first year of operation.
Copies of both the KPMG audit (see: page 5 and page 7) and the DOD report were obtained by Innovation Ohio pursuant to public records requests. Innovation Ohio is a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus.
Though JobsOhio has fewer than 25 employees, its eye-popping payouts include:
Auditor of State Dave Yost has subpoenaed JobsOhio’s financial records in order to conduct a complete audit of the agency’s expenditures. The Kasich Administration faces a Tuesday deadline to comply with Yost’s subpoena.
Said IO Communications Director Dale Butland: “Ohio taxpayers provided JobsOhio with a $1 million in startup funds in 2011. Now we learn that JobsOhio spent every dime of it — and more — turning its office into a corporate version of the Taj Majal. Do 20 or so employees of JobsOhio really need $362,000 worth of furniture? Did they really need to spend $366,000 on remodeling, including the installation of a coffee bar? No wonder Gov. Kasich doesn’t want Auditor Yost to see the books. JobsOhio is spending money in ways that would make Donald Trump blush.
“We salute Auditor Yost for insisting that JobsOhio open its books — and we urge him to stick to his guns. Determining whether public money has been properly spent is the most important part of his job description. And since everyone knows money is fungible, Gov. Kasich’s phony distinction between ‘private’ and ‘public’ funding just won’t wash.”