Kasich on JobsOhio controversy: "This is all politics"

Ohio Governor John Kasich
Ohio Governor John Kasich
Democratic State Representatives Denise Driehaus and Connie Pillich
Democratic State Representatives Denise Driehaus and Connie Pillich

The Ohio Democratic Party wants answers after a recent report revealed Governor John Kasich and several JobsOhio directors have direct financial ties to companies receiving tax credits and public funding.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The party has called for a full investigation into the matter, while Governor Kasich says ethical standards within JobsOhio have never been higher.

Some Ohio Democratic lawmakers demanded Thursday that Kasich and JobsOhio board members be transparent about how tax dollars are spent within the agency.

Democratic State Representatives Connie Pillich and Denise Driehaus say they're concerned because JobsOhio, a public-private agency designed to spur economic growth, is conducting business in secrecy.

"Governor Kasich and his friends blocked an effort to approve the transparency of this agency. They even stripped the state auditor from oversight," said Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery).

A Dayton Daily News report revealed Kasich and six JobsOhio board members appointed by Kasich may be using public funds to pad their own pockets.

"Governor Kasich and the JobsOhio board need to come clean on the self-dealing at JobsOhio and immediately disclose conflicts of interest that might be amongst themselves on the board," said Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati). "They've failed to do it in the past. They need to do it now."

However, Governor Kasich told FOX19 on Thursday the right checks and balances are in place.

"The deals that are agreed to right now are approved by an independent tax authority, not connected to JobsOhio. This is all politics, and I don't want to do anything that keeps us from continuing on the job creation that we've seen so far," said Kasich.

Pillich and Driehaus said they support an investigation by the Ohio Ethics Commission into the governor's actions and want JobsOhio board members to make themselves available for questioning by legislators.

Democratic lawmakers also want all financial disclosure forms filed by employees of JobsOhio since 2011 to be made public.

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