Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Sunday, September 17

Atty Gen: VIDEO - Dann (D) Speech at Dem Convention

As reported last Thursday in the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, an audit conducted by the Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services of 2002 to 2004 expenditures by Hamilton County's Department of Jobs & Family Services revealed a "shell game" by which the county improperly handled nearly $2 billion dollars. Almost $234,000 of that represents federal money that must be refunded because it was improperly spent. Asked why the problems were not caught sooner, Barbara E. Riley, the Taft appointee who heads ODJFS, said her department "relies heavily on the state auditor's annual financial audit, which did not reveal serious problems." But attorney general candidate and State Auditor Betty Montgomery (R-Toledo) disputed Riley's contention, saying the annual audits "are not designed to catch the kind of problems found in Hamilton County."

Democratic attorney general candidate State Sen. Marc "The Bulldog" Dann (D-Liberty Township) blasted Montgomery in a press release Friday, comparing her denial of responsibility in this instance to her self-absolution for failing to detect the waste of hundreds of millions Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation investments through investment scams run by Republican contributors including Toledo coin dealer and long-time Montgomery benefactor Tom Noe. Dann said two things appear to be true whenever reports of monumental misspending by public agencies become news: “The first is that Auditor Montgomery is the last to know even though it’s her job to be the first, and the second is that she’ll put the blame for her failure squarely on someone else. Denying responsibility may make her feel better, but it doesn’t do much for the taxpayers who are victimized by her repeated failures.”

Dann said that the type of misspending that occurred, which involved the shifting and co-mingling of state and federal funds, double billing, and other irregularities, is exactly the type of violations a thorough audit should have found. “We’re talking billions, and even for government that’s a lot of money. [Montgomery] signed an audit certifying that a public agency was abiding by the law and federal and state guidelines when the exact opposite was true. The bottom line is that it is her job to protect the interests of the people of Ohio and she has once again failed miserably and the taxpayers will be the ones who pay,” he said.

Saturday at the Ohio Democratic Party State Convention, Dann summed up Montgomery's failures in a story involving his two cats, now re-named "Montgomery" and "Petro":

Part one:

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

Part two:

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


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