Columbus: JobsOhio surrenders records, disputes auditor's authority

11:15 AM, Mar 19, 2013   |    comments
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COLUMBUS -- A political showdown/standoff between two Republican state officeholders has been avoided and the outcome may impact job creation efforts in Ohio.

JobsOhio responded to a subpoena Tuesday that it turn over records to State Audior Dave Yost who claims the right to audit the corporation's books.

The subpoena had a noon deadline.

But in a letter along with the records, JobsOhio President John Minor Jr. disputed Yost's authority to review the job creation corporation's records and "reserves its legal rights to protect the corporation from this unwarranted and unlawful intrusion into the affairs of a private, non-profit corporation."

Minor said the records were being voluntarily delivered to provde transparency but do not concede the subpoena is legal.

JobsOhio also announced it is refunding $1 million in startup money it received from the state in 2011 and grant money it's received since July 2011.

The bone of contention is where the auditor's power to review books stops with a private non-profit development corporation Governor Kasich's administration created to encourage job growth in Ohio.

The money Yost is concerned about was raised by JobsOhio through a subsidiary that sold bonds using future liquor sales revenue as collateral.

JobsOhio cut a deal with the state to run its liquor operations.

Kasich's administration agrees public money should be subject to a state audit but it claims money raised by a private company selling bonds should not.

And it says that Yost's intepretation of the law will scare companies away from  creating jobs in Ohio fearing that the auditor will try to seize its confidential records.


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