Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Thursday, August 24

Atty Gen: Video of Dann (D) Press Conference on Open Records Requests and Legislation

Yesterday I attended a press conference in the Senate Minority Conference Room in the Ohio Statehouse, where attorney general candidate State Sen. Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) announced that he is introducing legislation to expand and strengthen Ohio's laws on retention of public records, and is submitting new public records requests to the governor, auditor, attorney general, Bureau of Workers Compensation, and Venture Capital Authority. These actions were prompted by the recent disclosure, through emails that should have been disclosed to Dann pursuant to earlier document requests but instead came to light only through the MDL litigation, that former BWC chief James Conrad engineered a cover up to hide hundreds of millions of dollars in investment losses from the public just days before the 2004 presidential election.

The new law would impose a uniform requirement that all state agencies retain all records (including emails) relating to personnel decisions, investment decisions, and purchasing or contracting, for a period of five years. Agencies are presently subject an array of inconsistent record retention policies, some as short as 30 days. The point of the five year period is to discourage cover-ups by increasing the likelihood that agency records will come to the attention of succeeding officeholders.

I videtaped the 23-minute press conference and uploaded it to YouTube in small pieces. The following are three short videos covering the first six minutes of the event, before Dann took questions from the media:

[NOTE: I have removed the embedded link, but the video is available here.]

Dann's new public records requests ask for documents relating to the MDL hedge fund investment, a 2004 audit of BWC's rare coin investment, Terrence Gasper, and document retention policies.

[NOTE: I have removed the embedded link, but the video is available .]

Senator Dann said he wished he had been amazed when he read that James Conrad took numerous brazen steps to conceal the MDL losses because he knew they would make national news and could affect the outcome of the presidential election, “But at this point, after all we have learned about the shoddy way the Bureau was run, the fact that it was used as a cash cow to repay favored Republican donors, and that no elected official with oversight authority, including Betty Montgomery and Jim Petro, ever bothered to pay attention to what was going on over there, I’m not surprised in the least. Mr. Conrad’s actions are indicative of two things: the arrogance of power and complete confidence that this cover up would never be discovered,” Dann said.

[NOTE: I have removed the embedded link, but the video is available here.]

“The governor and his staff, with the help of the Supreme Court’s creation of executive privilege, and other officeholders have done everything possible to avoid releasing these important records to the press and public," Dann continued. "The documents referenced in the Blade article have now provided some additional insight into where we should look and what we should ask for, so we’re doing exactly that. Hopefully the information we’re seeking hasn’t been turned into confetti or been deleted from state-owned computers.”


At 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great update


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