COLUMBUS, Ohio - A Democratic challenger to Gov. John Kasich on Thursday called for the Ohio Ethics Commission to investigate the state's private economic development entity, JobsOhio.
The comments from Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald urging the panel to examine the development office's procedures come after a newspaper review found that six of nine board members at JobsOhio have ties to companies that received tax credits or other state or JobsOhio assistance since Kasich took office in 2011.
The Dayton Daily News identified JobsOhio directors who were either employed by, on the board of or stockholders in the benefiting companies.
A JobsOhio spokeswoman, Laura Jones, has said the analysis encompassed incentive packages granted before JobsOhio existed or had a board, and the office requires directors to abide by a strong conflict of interest policy.
Jones in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday said the board is in compliance with Ohio's law that "governs the timely filing of complete and accurate financial disclosure statements."
Ohio ethics laws and JobsOhio policy mandate that directors of the development office disclose potential conflicts of interest. Then, the directors that do not have an interest are to determine whether a conflict exists.