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Taft to be deposed in corruption lawsuit

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Algorem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:55 PM
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Taft to be deposed in corruption lawsuit

Hearts and Minds:Contract Shillers::Taft to be deposed in corruption lawsuit
By Larry durstin

THERE IS PROBABLY NOTHING less exciting about government work than the awarding of contracts to private companies to provide goods and services. But over the next several months, Cleveland attorney Ken Seminatore intends to wade neck-deep into state bureaucracy, interviewing executives from dozens of companies that have done business with Ohio over the past four years, and the elected officials who had a hand in awarding those contracts.

Governor Bob Taft, gubernatorial hopefuls Attorney General Jim Petro and Auditor Betty Montgomery and many others will get to spend a few hours in a conference room, answering questions for a far-reaching lawsuit alleging massive corruption in the awarding of no-bid contracts by Ohio politicians.

This represents the first time a private party has been able to take documentary and deposition discovery of statewide officials in a corruption case, says Seminatore, who has been practicing law in Cleveland for 35 years.

Filed in August 2004, Hagan v. Taft the Hagan being Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim Hagan, who ran for governor against Taft in 2002 was stayed shortly thereafter. But last month, Judge Joseph Kainrad ruled that discovery should re-commence and be concluded on or before February 28, 2006. Kainrad is a retired judge from Portage County who had been appointed by Ohio Chief Justice Thomas Moyer to preside over the case after Moyer had disqualified every judge in Cuyahoga County from hearing it...

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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:42 AM
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1. I recall that some activists had stalled them doing this a year ago.
I think I read it in the Free Times or Scene. Anyway, this stood out:

At the heart of the lawsuit is the allegation that due to Republicans dominance of state offices, the legislature and the Supreme Court for the past decade, elected officials have awarded lucrative public contracts to campaign contributors at costs much higher than would have resulted from competitive bidding.

This pay to play practice eventually funnels excess taxpayer monies generated by the inflated project costs back into the elected officials reelection campaigns.

The difference between this and the scandal is that BWC deals with employer premium dollars, not taxpayers money, says Seminatore. Its the same scam, though. Frankly, what the Ohio Republicans have stolen from BWC is peanuts compared to what theyve stolen from taxpayers in no-bid schemes.
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