Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tom Hall: Why I am running for the STRS Board; Vitae

Thomas E. Hall

Professor of Economics

Miami University, Oxford

Why I am running for the STRS Board

I am a candidate for the STRS Board because I believe I have important skills to offer the membership. I hold a doctorate in economics, and have been a professor at Miami University since 1982. I have published a book on business cycles, and have developed considerable expertise successfully managing my own portfolio of stock market assets. I am knowledgeable about how the economy operates, and the factors that impact values of stocks, bonds, and real estate– the assets that constitute the bulk of the STRS investment portfolio.

I was truly outraged a few years ago when I learned that the value of STRS’s investments had dropped $12 billion. Then came the news about rampant spending by the STRS Board on trips, meals, entertainment, and art. I found myself asking the same questions I’m sure most members did: How could these things have happened? Is my pension secure?

If elected, I will do the following:

1. Focus on holding down the costs of operating STRS. This means running STRS in a financially prudent manner, minimizing overhead, avoiding administrative bloat, and not allowing board members, or anyone else for that matter, to treat the investment portfolio as a pot they can dip into as they please.

2. Intelligently oversee the management of the investment portfolio. This includes ensuring that STRS investments are safe and properly diversified.

3. Strictly adhere to Ohio Revised Code Section 3307.15 which states that STRS Board members must act solely on the behalf of STRS members and their beneficiaries.]

4. Work to find avenues which will permit the continuance of health care and prescription drug benefits at current or possibly reduced cost to STRS retirees.

5. Communicate with and be responsive to all members including retirees.

6. Support and lobby for state legislation that benefits STRS members.


2006 Candidate for Active Teacher Member to the STRS Board
Thomas E. Hall: Vitae
Business Address: Department of Economics Miami University Oxford, OH 45056
513-529-2862 e-mail:
Home Address: 76 Oliver Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45215; 513-948-9983
Birth Date: January 31, 1954, Detroit, Michigan.

Marital Status: Married, one child.
Ph.D. Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, July 1982. Fields of specialization: Macroeconomics and Econometrics. Dissertation title: "A Bayesian Analysis of Neoclassical Aggregate Investment Demand Functions."
M.A. Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, December 1979.
B.A. Economics, University of Colorado, Boulder, May 1976.
Work Experience: July 1993-present. Professor of Economics, Miami University.
May 1988-June 1993. Associate Professor of Economics, Miami University (On leave May 1988 - August 1989.)
May 1988-August 1989. Visiting Senior Economist, U.S. State Department, Bureau of Economics and Business Affairs, Planning and Economic Analysis Staff.
August 1982-May1988. Assistant Professor of Economics, Miami University.
September 1979-July 1982. Teaching Associate, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Publications In Journals: "Price Cyclicality in the Natural Rate - Nominal Demand Shock Model." Journal of Macroeconomics, Spring, 1995, pp. 257-272.
"McCallum's Base Growth Rule: Evidence for the United States, Germany, Japan, and Canada." Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv Vol.
126 (December 1990), pp. 630-642.
"On Allocating the Variance of Output Growth to Permanent and Cyclical Components." Economic Letters, (1989), pp. 323-326 (with M.A. Fields and T.W. Fields).
"Income or Wealth in Money Demand: Comment." Southern Economic Journal, April 1988, pp. 1039-42 (with T.W. Fields).
"Anticipated Nominal Demand Shocks and the Speed of Aggregate Price Adjustment." Review of Economics and Statistics, Feb.
1987, pp. 140-4 (with T.W. Fields).
"Velocity and the Variability of Monetary Growth: Evidence from Granger Causality Tests." Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, February 1987, pp.112-6 (with N.R. Noble).
"A New View of the Market Structure Performance Debate." Journal of Industrial Economics, June 1984, pp. 397-417
(with J.L. Bothwell and T.F. Cooley).
Business Cycles: The Nature and Causes of Economic Fluctuations (New York: Praeger Publishing, 1990).
The Great Depression: An International Disaster of Perverse Economic Policies, with J.D. Ferguson (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998).
The Rotten Fruits of Economic Controls and the Rise From the Ashes, 1965-1989
(Lanham, MD: University Press of America,
Other Publications:
Book Review: Business Cycles Since 1820: New International Perspectives from Historical Evidence, by Trevor J.O. Dick, Journal of Economic History, 60 (June
2000), p 578-588.
Book Review: Economic Cycles: Long Cycles and Business Cycles Since 1870 by Solomos Solomou, Journal of Economic History, 60 (2000), pp. 931-932.
"Breakthrough Books."
Linguagranca: The Review of Academic Life, December/ January 1999.
"The Natural Rate of Unemployment," in David Glasner, Editor, Encyclopedia of Business Cycles, Panics, Crises and Depressions Garland Publishing, 1997.
"Consumption Expenditures," in David Glasner, Editor, Encyclopedia of Business Cycles, Panics, Crises and Depressions Garland Publishing, 1997.
"The Real Problem: Productivity Deficit," Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy, Summer 1992, pp. 63-5.
"Rising Oil Prices Cloud Economic Outlook," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 8/20/90.
"Why do Economists Disagree?" The Deltasig of Delta Sigma Pi, May 1987.
References: Available on Request

Mark Fredrick: What sets me apart [from other STRS Board candidates]; Vitae

2006 Board Candidate
Mark Fredrick
As a Candidate for the STRS Board active member seat
Is that I have worked in the largest public school system in the state of Ohio. I have also taught in a small private parochial school for two years. I have seen education from a diverse perspective throughout my career. The last twenty-five years teaching in Cleveland has taught me plenty.

I have continued to provide leadership for my students and colleagues. It is not something that just occurred to me recently. It has been a continued working, growing, and learning throughout my career. New problems arise and are resolved in on-going succession. In looking over the bigger picture and issues that affect our state’s teachers and education, we can see the results of the NCLB Act, charter schools drain on public schools, legal battles concerning statewide school funding, and changes in our teachers retirement system. As I approach the retirement era, it becomes far more meaningful that it be fully funded and provide quality, affordable health care. The health care should become a dedicated revenue stream co-paid by the teacher at 2-1/2% and the same from employers.

Guaranteed, secured pension funds and affordable health care are the two main issues of my candidacy. Yet we must never forget the past practices and use of our funds, or allow repetition.

I have witness bloated bureaucracy, assistants to assistant, wanton waste, and now severe cuts, lay-offs, RIFS, and transfers as well as school building closings.

I entered into the teaching profession knowing that wages would be somewhat less than the earnings in other professions or endeavors. Yet I also felt teaching was a secure career that would not move to the Sun Belt, or be outsourced overseas. The school calendar and retirement system offset the wages. Never let those golden years become tarnished by an inadequate retirement system. We’re counting on our STRS pension and affordable health care to be there when we retire.



Mark Fredrick

6112 West Smith Road

Medina, OH 44256-8949



Undergraduate: (1971-1975) John Carroll University

B.A. University Heights, OH 44118

Major: English, Minor: German

Prelaw Program Track w/background in Economics and


Graduate: (1975-1980) John Carroll University

M.Ed. University Heights, OH 44118

Professional Experience: Cleveland Municipal School District

1989 - Present Max S. Hayes Vocational High

English Grades 9-12

1986-1989 East High School

English Grades 9-12

1985-1986 Patrick Henry Junior High

1983-1985 Audubon Junior High

1980-1983 Collinwood High School

Lakewood, Ohio

1977- 1980 Saint Augustine Academy

Professional Duties: English Department Head, Max S. Hayes

Chapter Chair, Cleveland Teachers Union

Union Conference Committee

Elected Member of CTU Nominations & Elections Comm.

Community Service and Other Interests: Ohio Department of Agriculture Licensed Poultry Blood Tester

4-H Advisor and Judge: Judge Poultry, Rabbits,

Cats, Hogs

American Bantam Assoc. Dist. Representative For

Ohio and Kentucky

Saint Francis Xavier Church: Adopt-A-Plot Coordinator, Sunday Collection Counter

Medina County The Ohio State University Master

Gardener (past)

Owner/Operator of Beef & Exhibition Poultry Farm

Friday, March 03, 2006

RH Jones: State HC BD Meeting of Feb. 22, 2006

March 3, 2006
To all:

As a retired member of the Akron Edu. Assoc. (AEA) they are kind in mailing me their "Random Notes" of Feb. 27. In it is an exposure of the dastardly state "play for pay" political administration. As you retired STRS members may know, Actives are not happy having a one HC-system serving all. Each local association wants to negotiate their HC with their local Bds. of Educ. Here is their article:

State Health Care Board Holds First Meeting

If the subject wasn't so serious, the situation would have been laughable. The State Health Care Board met for the first time February 22 in Columbus, nearly eight months after it was required to meet by law and well beyond the legal deadline for making its report. AEA leadership was there, as was Representative Brian Williams.

We were pleasantly surprised by the men and women on the Board itself, even though none represent any of the state employees who would be covered by a state-wide health care plan. For the most part, they are bright, articulate individuals who seem to genuinely recognize how enormous the consequences are of what they've been asked to do.

Now for the bad news. The Boards meetings are being facilitated by Department of Administrative Services, the consummate bureaucratic juggernaut staffed by political hacks of the ruling party. It was immediately apparent that DAS had jumped the gun on the Board. For example, the legislation creating the Board gives the Board authority to hire consultants--Watson Wyatt--by means of a nifty no bid $500,000 contract. (This firm has done much work for the state; they know how to dance.) When several Board members asked how long each would be serving (their appointments are staggered), but no one from DAS could answer the question! Nor could they explain why the Advisory Committee--mandated by law to serve at the behest of the Board--was appointed without input from Board members. The most absurd exchange of the day occurred when a Board member pointed out that deadlines in the legislature had already passed without action, and that they needed to be changed to realistically accommodate the Board's availability and reporting timelines (as yet undetermined). DAS argued the deadlines were part of the legislation and it would be difficult to change them without additional legislation. We wouldn't be surprised to see amendments made as part of some unrelated bill to modernize the state's salt barns along the highways.

As of now, it's anybody's guess as to what the Board will do and when they will do it. In spite of the impression the Board made on us and their ability to raise the right questions, we can't help but wonder if they will be able to avoid the DAS steamroller.

Retirees, teachers, we need to support our active teachers on this. Who could trust this state administration to control HC for all state employees?

By the way, sadly my AEA, as OFT did, supports John Brackett instead of CORE's recommendation of Tom Hall. Brackett has great credentials, but Hall has more, and is better qualified. However, happily, AEA did support OFT's & CORE's candidate, highly qualified, Mark Frederick.

RHJones, CORE & SummitCRTA

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Senator Dann: "Petro may have perfected the exploitation of special counsel for campaign fundraising but Betty Montgomery invented it."

From: John Curry
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006
Subject: Strong words re. former STRS Board members from Sen. Dann -"Petro may have perfected it but Betty invented it!"

"My concerns are not with the details of that particular transaction but with the pattern of behavior over the past decade. Petro may have perfected the exploitation of special counsel for campaign fundraising but Betty Montgomery invented it."

by Sen. Dann from his blog site

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Yesterday's Plain Dealer details alleged pay to play decisionmaking in the award of special counsel contracts. Tomorrow I am sending the following public records requests to Universities in Ohio and the Attorney General's Office to determine the breadth and extent of questionable decisionmaking in the award of special counsel contracts by recent Ohio Attorneys General.

Here is the letter I plan to send:

I am writing to formally request paper copies of the following records:

· All communications, reports, statements, memorandums or records from January 1, 1995 to the present relating to requests for or the selection of special counsel from --University, including, but not limited to, communications from or to -- and the Office of Attorney General.

Allegations have been made in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Akron Beacon Journal that decisions surrounding the award of special counsel contracts by the Attorney General were influenced by campaign contributions and/or at the urging of local political party bosses. I seek these records to determine the extent of such activity so that I can propose appropriate legislation or other action make sure that lawyers for the state are selected based on their qualifications, not sole on their political activities.

As I am sure you will agree, government works best under the bright light of public scrutiny.

I applaud the University of Akron’s decision to waive any potential attorney-client privilege issues to make some records available to the public. I hope that your institution will follow their lead.

In responding to this request, please note that any record kept by a public office is considered a public record. R.C. 149.43(A)(1). A “record” includes any item that: 1) contains information stored on a fixed medium, including, but not limited to, paper, computers or film; 2) is created, received, or sent under the jurisdiction of a public office; and 3) documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office. R.C. 149.011(G).

In addition, upon receiving a public records request, copies must be made available within a reasonable amount of time. These copies must be made available in the medium specified. R.C. 149.43(B)(2). The foregoing provisions must be interpreted liberally in favor of disclosure. State ex rel. Warren Newspapers v. Hutson, 70 Ohio St. 3d 619 (1994).

I would appreciate a status response to this request by 5:00 P.M. on Friday, March 17, 2006.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

My concerns are not with the details of that particular transaction but with the pattern of behavior over the past decade. Petro may have perfected the exploitation of special counsel for campaign fundraising but Betty Montgomery invented it.

It is not wrong to hire the best available lawyers for the state some of whom might have contributed to the Attorney General's campaign. What is wrong is the systematic fundraising that creates a quid pro quo relationship between the two.

I am confident that I can balance the need to fundraise with the responsibilities of the office.


Marc Dann
State Senator
32nd District

John Curry: Transparency (?), Caremark and STRS

From: John Curry
To: John Lazares, Dennis Leone, Steve Buser
Sent: Thursday, March 2, 2006
Subject: Transparency (?), Caremark and STRS

John Bos sent this to me to share.
Months ago, John gave a presentation to two associates of STRS, Dr. Buser, Dr. Asbury, and CORE member (witness) Liz Ebbing. His presentation involved a concept of open (to the public) and transparent bidding for PBM (Pharmacy Benefits Manager) contracts by STRS rather than the current method by which STRS chooses a PBM. Currently, the details and dollar amounts of our contract with Caremark remain secret because of the terms of our current contract with Caremark. STRS members as well as the public have no opportunity to view any audits of this contract due to the secrecy involved. It should be noted that PBMs aren't necessarily the pinnacle of ethical business in our contemporary world and are no strangers to both state and federal courts for unethical business practices - many "out of court" settlements will attest to this.
If these details are not open to the public, then how can we really know whether or not we, in fact, saved $7.3 million dollars by renewing our contract with Caremark? We are not able to see the bids. There is no transparency here. We are at the mercy of what we are told and are unable to see for ourselves.
John, a Proud CORE member

Letter from Sandra Knoesel to John Bos, January 24, 2006:

Dear Mr. Bos:

Please accept my sincere apology for not responding directly to your suggestion to use a different method to select the prescription drug manager. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the meeting when you discussed your ideas with Dr. Buser. I was under the impression that your questions had been answered during that meeting.

I am afraid I have to disagree with your opinion about the open bid process that was used to select AdvancePCS, now Caremark, when STRS Ohio discontinued its contract with Medco Health Solutions. As you are aware, STRS Ohio joined with the other Ohio retirement systems to leverage its bargaining strength. This process resulted in a savings of more than $27 million during the first three years of the contract. In previous correspondence, we have also provided you with information about the additional $7.3 million savings STRS Ohio realized by renewing its contract with Caremark while at the same time it was suing Medco Health Solutions. As you are aware, the outcome of this lawsuit was a $7.8 million judgment in STRS Ohio’s favor.

We appreciate you sharing ideas to help maintain the viability of the STRS Ohio Health Care Program. We will keep your ideas as well as others in mind as we consider our next steps with the PBM contract in 2007.


Sandra L. Knoesel

Deputy Executive Director

Member Benefits

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

From Suddenly Senior: Seized Drugs Being Released

From: Frank Kaiser, Suddenly Senior
Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Subject:Seized Drugs Being Released - from Suddenly Senior
Canadian pharmacies say the U.S. is delivering packages intercepted during a crackdown.
By Lisa Girion LA Times Staff Writer
March 1, 2006
Amid mounting criticism of their crackdown on mail-order medications, customs officials have begun releasing hundreds of seized packages to consumers, Canadian pharmacies and U.S. lawmakers said Tuesday.
It was unclear whether the action signaled an end to the crackdown, which started in November when U.S. Customs and Border Protection quietly increased seizures of prescription drugs mailed from abroad.
After repeatedly denying that they had changed policies, customs officials this week acknowledged that the agency had stepped up enforcement of a federal law banning personal importation of pharmaceuticals.
Although it is illegal for individuals to import medications, federal authorities had generally allowed shipments from licensed Canadian pharmacies.
The seizures -- as much as 5% of orders from American consumers, according to some Canadian pharmacies -- sent thousands of mail-order buyers, most of them seniors living on fixed incomes, scrambling for drugs to control cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Many of those consumers got another surprise in recent days as postal carriers began delivering hundreds of seized packages -- some held for two months.
"The mailman showed up, and he had three manila envelopes from U.S. Customs," said Samuel Robert Greenberg, 73, of Laguna Niguel, who has publicly criticized the seizures.
The retired real estate broker's order of eyedrops and cholesterol medication had been seized in January. When it arrived Saturday, Greenberg told the mail carrier to send it back because he already had received free replacements from Calgary-based MinitDrugs.
Greenberg also feared that the eyedrops had gone bad -- they require refrigeration after two weeks -- and was disturbed that the order had obviously been opened and repackaged.
Customs spokeswoman Lynn Hollinger said Tuesday that she was unaware that seized packages had been sent on to customers, saying she could not explain the reports from pharmacists and consumers.
More than 30 customers called Winnipeg-based CanAmerica Global to report that they had received medications Tuesday that had been shipped in early January. At the same time, they received the free replacements the pharmacy had sent a month later.
"It's amazing how they are arriving on the same day," said Bill Pigden, CanAmerica's business development manager. "You can't tell me this is an accident."
Pigden said some packages had been opened, and CanAmerica was urging customers to return them for safety reasons.
Andy Troszok said his Calgary-based Extended Care Pharmacy had heard from about 100 customers whose orders had been seized, each saying their drugs had been delivered since Friday. Other pharmacies were reporting similar experiences, said Troszok, president of the Canadian International Pharmacy Assn.
"All of a sudden, we've seen a massive amount of shipments being released to our customers," he said. "Our phones are ringing off the hook with customers saying they are getting their packages."
Some U.S. lawmakers concerned with the issue also said they had heard from constituents who reported receiving seized packages.
The crackdown prompted seniors and members of Congress to demand explanations for why the government was not following a Food and Drug Administration policy that allows people to mail-order or carry across the border a 90-day supply of prescription drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies.
"This unannounced policy of increased enforcement is irresponsible," Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-Minn.) said Tuesday. "If federal agencies have decided to increase the seizure rate of imported prescription drugs, they need to explain why. The Americans whose health depends on these medications have a right to know."
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said in a floor speech Tuesday that he had received complaints from more than 100 constituents whose medications had been seized. And he wondered, as have other critics, whether the seizures were timed to discourage seniors from buying cheap drugs abroad as an alternative to the Bush administration's new Medicare drug program.
"I certainly hope there is no connection between this spike in prescription drug seizures and an effort to force seniors into the new Medicare prescription drug program," he said.
According to an e-mail from a customs official to Nelson, the seizure policy change occurred Nov. 17 -- two days after enrollment in the drug program began.
Customs officials, however, denied any connection, saying in the e-mail to Nelson that the stricter enforcement was intended to "protect consumers from potentially dangerous drugs manufactured abroad. In no way are these procedures intended to force U.S. residents into participating in Medicare Part D."
On Tuesday, customs spokeswoman Hollinger said she did not know who ordered the increase in seizures and had no explanation for it, beyond a general goal of enforcing the law and promoting safety.
Nelson on Friday had called for the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, which includes customs, to investigate whether the agency was abiding by the FDA's policy of allowing the purchase of medications from Canada.
Olympia J. Snowe, a Republican senator from Maine, where consumers have long crossed the border to buy cheaper drugs, also is criticizing the crackdown. On Feb. 6, 11 members of Congress, including Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and eight other Republicans, wrote to the FDA to complain about the seizures.

E-mails detail Petro's demands: Can he explain his way out of this one?

Messages show he ordered U. of Akron to change law firms
Wednesday, March 01, 2006 - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Sandy Theis
Plain Dealer Reporter


-- Just days after taking office in 2003, Attorney General Jim Petro ordered the University of Akron to replace four law firms, even though the university's top lawyer had warned that the changes would be costly and inefficient.

Petro dismissed the university's concerns and ordered much of the legal work, including patent cases, transferred to Roetzel & Andress, a politically wired firm that had to scramble to assemble a patent law department. At least two of the firms said they believe they lost the work because they refused to contribute to Petro's campaign.

The disagreement is detailed in never-before-disclosed e-mails in which university general counsel Ted Mallo pleaded with Petro to keep the four firms, which had represented the university for years. The university's board of trustees voted unanimously to release the correspondence Tuesday in response to a public records request from The Plain Dealer.

After the newspaper asked for the records, Petro advised the university that they were not public.

He said they fell within attorney-client privilege.

Trustees agreed the privilege applied but should be waived.

The e-mails reflect Mallo's frustration as he tried to persuade Petro to change his mind.

In a Jan. 14, 2003, e-mail, Mallo told President Luis Proenza and trustees that a change in patent lawyers "would have a significant education curve and cost."

In a Feb. 13, 2003, e-mail to Matt Cox, who coordinated outside legal work for Petro at the time, Mallo noted that the Roetzel firm did not have a patent department.

Kenneth Preston, associate vice president for research, complained to Mallo in a June 3, 2003, e-mail that Petro's office had given Kent State University flexibility in the use of outside counsel.

"We, on the other hand, appear compelled to put all of our fortunes in the hands of one person in the Roetzel firm," Preston wrote. "And we know that the Roetzel firm is trying to hire young associates to pick up the workload. None of this bodes well for providing us with a high level of experienced assistance."

After Tuesday's trustees' meeting, Mallo said he could not estimate how much money and time the changes cost the university, but he said it was "significant."

Petro specifically ordered the hiring of Roetzel and the replacement of Renner Kenner Greive Bobak Taylor & Weber, an Akron-based firm that specializes in patent and other types of intellectual property law.

In the e-mails and interviews, General Counsel Mallo praised Ray Weber, the Renner lawyer who oversaw the patent work, and expressed concerns that Roetzel lacked the expertise to do patent work in the areas of polymers, engineering and chemistry.

Although attorneys gen eral tend to honor state agency and university re quests for out side lawyers, the attorney general makes the final call.

Petro vehemently denies any link between political donations and special counsel work, but Weber has maintained that he lost the business because he ignored the Petro campaign's fund-raising requests.

He and fellow Akron lawyer Jack Morrison, who also lost special counsel work to Roetzel, said they were interviewed by the FBI last month, and both said they told agents they believe Petro punished their firms for not supporting his campaigns.

Morrison said that Petro personally told him that his firm, Amer Cunningham, would have to "sit out" for a year but could earn the business back through donations.

Morrison is a member of UA's board of trustees but abstained from Tuesday's vote.

The flap over the pricey patent lawyers is the latest in a string of controversies over Petro's system of hiring private lawyers, known as special counsel, to help with state legal matters.

For decades, Ohio attorneys general have used special counsel appointments to reward political allies and contributors. Under Petro, however, some have complained that he and his associates have used heavy-handed tactics to raise money. Morrison was among the first to complain publicly.

Petro, who is seeking the Republican Party's nomination for governor, has called for a dramatic overhaul of public colleges, saying they are financially inefficient and offer too many duplicative degree programs.

Even in light of the warnings in the e-mails, Petro's office on Tuesday continued to defend his decision to spend more to replace the law firms.

Petro's first assistant, Michael Grodhaus, issued a statement saying that he recommended replacing the Summit County firms "rather than have any political party chairman make those decisions for us."

Grodhaus was referring to the firms' ties to Summit County Republican Party Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, a longtime political foe of Petro's.

Petro has suggested that Morrison manufactured his story at Arshinkoff's behest.

Morrison is Arshinkoff's personal lawyer, and Weber has been a reliable donor to the Summit County GOP.

The other two firms that were replaced are Brouse McDowell and Roderick Linton.

To help counter Arshinkoff's clout in Summit County, Petro formed an alliance with Roetzel, a powerful law firm that sits atop Arshinkoff's enemies list.

The firm has hosted fund-raisers for Petro, and its lawyers gave $53,500 to Petro's campaigns from 2002 to 2004. Once Petro became attorney general, the firm became one of the leading recipients of state legal contracts. In fiscal 2004, Roetzel placed No. 3 in total state legal business, getting $1.6 million in work. It had never before placed in the top 10.

Morrison's firm, Amer Cunningham, saw its special counsel work drop from $356,827 in fiscal 2003 to $29,368 last year, state records show.

Suddenly Senior: Snubbing Medicare, some look to Canada

Frank Kaiser, Suddenly Senior
Monday, February 27, 2006
Subject: [RxNews] Snubbing Medicare, some look to Canada - from Suddenly Senior
Tens of thousands of Florida's seniors skip the government's new prescription-drug benefit.
Robyn Shelton Sentinel Medical Writer
February 27, 2006
Florida's elderly are snubbing Medicare's new prescription-drug benefit by the tens of thousands, saying they still get better deals buying their medicine through Canadian pharmacies.
Even though the practice is illegal, seniors say it allows them to stretch their drug budget further. Prescriptions often cost 30 percent to 50 percent less there than in the United States because the Canadian government limits what drug-makers can charge.
Among those making the choice is M.C. "Smoky" Taylor, 79, who does not have insurance to help pay for the five medications he uses regularly.
Taylor said he saves about $800 annually on blood-pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and other medications. He has no plan to join the Medicare prescription program.
"I tell everyone to look into Canada," said Taylor, who lives in Leesburg. "My doctors even recommend it, so what does that tell you?
"I wouldn't sign up for one of these [Medicare] plans. They're all messed up, they don't cover all the drugs you need, and you have to pay a fee every month. It's ridiculous."
It's hard to say how many seniors are using Canadian pharmacies in lieu of Medicare's program, which went into effect Jan. 1.
Anecdotally, pharmacists in Canada noted a drop-off in business last month but an uptick in February.
Even so, they say, it's too early to predict how Medicare's drug benefit, called Part D, will affect demand for Canadian drugs among U.S. seniors.
In the United States, Medicare wants seniors to know they are taking two risks if they purchase drugs from Canada.
First, the U.S. government cannot vouch for the safety of the foreign drugs. Second, those without Part D do not have true protection against high drug expenses.
"By enrolling in a Medicare drug plan, beneficiaries not only get good prices, but insurance against catastrophic drug costs," said Peter Ashkenaz, a spokesman at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington. "You cannot get the peace of mind of insurance by ordering your drugs from Canada."
Buying medicine from Canada remains a contentious topic in the United States, where some lawmakers have been pushing without success to legalize Canadian drugs. The practice is illegal under a federal law that prohibits the importation of medicines from other countries.
Even so, an estimated 2 million Americans buy their prescriptions from Canada, and the U.S. government never has prosecuted anyone for doing so -- though U.S. customs and drug officials occasionally seize drug packages coming into the country.
The pharmacies don't share details about their customers for privacy reasons, but it's a safe bet to say that most of them are seniors, said Andrew Strempler, president of, a Canadian Internet pharmacy.
He also said Florida residents make up a sizable portion, estimating that
25 percent of his company's 200,000 American clients live in the Sunshine State.
Strempler said he has not seen a drop-off in business, noting a rise from December to January of 3 percent.
He thinks some seniors are investigating the Medicare options and finding a cheaper alternative across the border. His company did an analysis of Part D, running nearly 500 different scenarios through the government's Internet-based system that helps people compare the costs of various plans in their areas.
Using commonly prescribed drugs, Strempler said his pharmacy is cheaper than the least-expensive Medicare plan in most situations.
"There are cases when people can do better [with Medicare]," Strempler said. "For example, people who are spending an enormous amount of money, with catastrophic costs, are going to save.
But what we've found is that these plans, while they had the best intentions in mind, were not designed for the typical, healthy senior" whose costs are not as high.
Better option for some
Charlotte Kuglin, 75, of Lake County considers herself lucky that she needs only a handful of medications regularly. She and her husband, Walter, have been filling their prescriptions through RxNorth for three years.
Still, when she heard about Part D, Kuglin was eager to examine the program. After crunching the numbers, she found she still saves about $1,300 more annually by going through Canada than by enrolling in the Medicare program.
Although she is a staunch supporter of President Bush, Kuglin said she will not be taking part in the program that he has touted heavily. She also finds no logic in the government's warnings about potential safety concerns with Canadian medicines.
A retired nurse, Kuglin said the drugs come in bottles that have not been opened since they left the manufacturers. She has no worries about getting authentic, safe drugs.
"I love President Bush; I think he's a wonderful man," she said. "But there are some things he's done that I don't agree with, and this [drug program] is one of them."
Medicare spokesman Ashkenaz said people don't have to go to Canada for the best prices. He said seniors can pay less through Part D, especially if they are buying generic drugs and taking advantage of the mail-order options available with many plans.
In those cases, "beneficiaries enrolled in [Part D plans] may pay less for their drugs than those ordering drugs from Canada," he said.
So far, Medicare has reported a strong interest in its new coverage, with about 15.8 million people enrolled in the coverage through private companies or managed-care organizations. An additional 9.5 million people on Medicare have drug coverage through other sources, such as retiree or veterans benefits.
That leaves about 15 million Medicare recipients who still could join Part D if they chose to do so. People can sign up through May 15 for the initial enrollment period.
As people continue to study their options, advocates say seniors should be aware that Canada is a possible source for cheaper medicines.
"We definitely tell them it's an option, and it can be a lower-cost option than Part D," said Diane Archer, founder and special counsel for the Medicare Rights Center in New York.
'Doughnut hole' help
That's the same message Canadian pharmacies are trying to reinforce as they risk losing business to the new program.
Andy Troszok, president of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, said drugstores in his organization did see a decline in orders for January, but they already have been reporting a bump in February.
He thinks many seniors might use Canadian stores among a variety of sources to fill their drug needs. For example, people might continue to order Canadian drugs for those medicines not covered by their Part D plans. Or they might wait and order from Canada once they reach the so-called "doughnut hole" when drug coverage temporarily stops in the plans.
"Regardless of Part D, Canada is still an option that is very viable," he said.
Robyn Shelton can be reached at or 407-420-5487.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Jim, this pay-to-play thing looks like it could be for real

Sunday, February 19, 2006, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Sandy Theis, Plain Dealer Columnist

As an inoculation against allegations that he's employed heavy-handed fundraising practices, Attorney General and candidate for governor Jim Petro outlined a proposal to ban any political donations to an elected official from vendors doing state business with that office.

Unveiled Thursday, the initiative came as Petro continued to field questions about allegations from lawyers - both Republicans - who say their firms lost state legal business after they dared to support a Petro rival. He called the assertions "hardball politics at its worst" and said he is neither surprised nor worried that the FBI has begun interviewing the lawyers.

His bravado was expected. The new ethics plan came just hours before the deadline to file the petitions needed to qualify for the May 2 primary. It also came after his rival for the nomination, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, accused him of using outside counsel he'd hired as "an ATM for campaign funds."

What was unexpected was Petro's contention that it's a "misperception" that a pay-to-play culture permeates Ohio's capital.

Let's take a stroll down memory lane.

About 17 months ago, lobbyist Andy Futey was the third supporter of then-state Treasurer Joe Deters to plead guilty for his role in a pay-to-play scheme involving Deters' office. Specifically, Futey admitted to helping now-jailed broker Frank Gruttadauria direct $110,000 in political donations to Deters' campaign in exchange for an inside track at the treasury.

By turning the state's portfolio over to brokers who give, rather than perform, Deters provided taxpayers with some of the nation's most sluggish returns.

Although Ohio's investment guidelines are among the nation's most restrictive, a past Plain Dealer analysis couldn't find a comparable group of short-term investments with less impressive returns.

About 19 months ago, we learned that former House Speaker Larry Householder was among the central figures in a federal probe into the operation of the House Republicans' campaign fund and into allegations that Householder had allowed political donations to influence legislation.

The investigation is ongoing.

Within the last 2½ years, two former trustees of the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund pleaded guilty to criminal charges that stemmed from golf, trips, football tickets and meals they received from pension fund vendors.

At the sentencing of one trustee, Ohio Ethics Commission Executive Director David Freel told the court that the commission had never in its history seen a higher level of gratuities to a public official.

Six months ago, a Franklin County judge found Gov. Bob Taft guilty of four misdemeanors for breaking state ethics law by failing to report golf outings, meals, hockey tickets and other gifts from some of the state's most influential business and political leaders. The list includes one round of golf and some gifts from rare-coin dealer and big-time GOP fundraiser Tom Noe.

This past week, Ohioans learned more about the scope of Noe's shady deals when the Lucas County prosecutor handed down a 53-count indictment that accused him of theft, money laundering, forgery and tampering with records in connection with his handling of a $50 million investment fund used to benefit injured workers.

Shortfalls in the funds he managed could reach $13 million.

The state charges came after federal officials charged Noe with illegally funneling $45,400 to President George W. Bush's re-election campaign.

At the time of the federal indictment, Noel Hillman, who helped lead the yearlong investigation for the U.S. Department of Justice, called it "the most blatant case of campaign finance abuse" since a 2002 law stiffened penalties for campaign finance violations.

Under Deters, our investment returns were the lowest. At the pension fund, the ethics watchdog found the gratuities paid to some trustees to be the largest. Federal officials described Noe's alleged campaign laundering as the most blatant.

Now, Ohio's top law enforcement official wants to convince us that all of these pay-to-play examples add up to a misperception. If Petro truly wants to address Ohio's ethics problem, he first needs to acknowledge that it exists.

Theis is chief of The Plain Dealer's Columbus bureau.

Contact her at:, 800-228-8272

What happened to one whistle blower on Pay to Play; Petro, Montgomery and others involved in Buckeye State corruption make news out of state

North Country Gazette (New York State), February 25, 2006
EXCLUSIVE - Ohio Free Speech Case Directly Related To Noe, Pay To Play
OAK HARBOR, OHIO-- Bet you thought that Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane were still in Hazzard County, Georgia.
Well, there appears to be a cloning of the Dukes of Hazzard television show, popular in the early 1980’s, re-emerging in northern Ohio in Lucas, Ottawa, Erie and Cuyahoga Counties.
Why, Ottawa County sheriff Robert Bratton even resembles Boss Hogg and for sure, as the world now knows with the indictment of Tom Noe, GOP fundraiser for President Bush and close personal friend of Ohio’s Gov. Bob Taft, there’s corruption in northern Ohio, there’s public corruption there with ties all the way to the White House.
Not only has the Governor himself been found guilty of misdemeanor ethics violations, so have several of his aides, most recently two this past week, one of whom admitted channeling campaign contributions from Noe to three Ohio Supreme Court justices.
It was also revealed this past week that federal prosecutors are looking into pay for play allegations made by two Akron-area lawyers who said that they were denied state contracts by Attorney General Jim Petro after they refused to donate to Petro’s 2002 election campaign.
Pay to play.
Former Oak Harbor attorney and pharmacist Elsebeth Baumgartner blew the whistle on a pay to play scheme back in 2001 and immediately, the attempts to discredit her, intimidate her and shut her up began. She was disbarred, albeit without legal foundation and then her pharmacy license was removed. And she was criminally charged, and charged, and charged. She’s served nearly a year in jail and is currently being threatened with over 66 years in jail----for exercising her First Amendment right to free speech.
Judges and prosecutors labeled her as a “threat to society”. It was more like she was a threat to their livelihoods with her allegations of public corruption which she could substantiate.
Journalists across the United States should be seriously concerned about the retaliatory actions of government officials against Baumgartner, not only the retaliatory arrests and threats of incarceration and attempts to label her incompetent in order to make her charges of corruption go away, but the exercise of a search warrant to seize her computers, records of her online publication, her work product and all documents and evidence which she had amassed against the public officials.
Retired visiting judge Richard Markus, 75, a judge who she has long tangled with and charged with improper activities, says she intimidated him by email----except it took him over a year to make a complaint and during the entire time, he continued to adjudicate cases against her, rendering monetary judgments against her, filing criminal contempt charges against both her and her husband.
Baumgartner is currently simultaneously prosecuted in three counties (Ottawa, Erie and Cuyahoga) by the offices of prosecutors she has reported to federal agencies. She labels these as sham criminal proceedings intended to unconstitutionally criminalize speech or as a consequence of her speech critical of the government. Two of the three prosecutions arise from complaints by Visiting Judge Richard Markus that Baumgartner’s legal writings and email communications to him which criticize his conduct as a visiting retired judge and private judge in her civil cases constitutes criminal contempt of court, intimidation, retaliation, falsification and possession of criminal tools, namely her computer.
The former lawyer is currently under threat of nearly 67 years of incarceration for allegedly sending emails to Markus on which others were copied, complaining of what she says is Markus’ outrageous misconduct in civil cases in Ottawa County in a case somehow filed in Cuyahoga County. She points out that Markus waited over a year to have her criminally charged for sending the emails and yet, although a complainant and witness against her, continues to preside over her civil cases in Ottawa County.
Baumgartner asserts that Judge Markus was intentionally assigned to all of her cases by Chief Justice Thomas Moyer to award sham civil judgments against her in order to bankrupt her, to dismiss her family’s legitimate lawsuits filed against public officials as well as to declare her a vexatious litigator in retaliation for her complaints of judicial corruption to the USDOJ.
Moyer also has a rather obvious conflict of interest involving Baumgartner which ethically precludes him from being involved in any matter concerning her, including the assignment of judges to matters relating to her.
In November, 2002, Baumgartner attempted to have Moyer federally investigated for allegedly "manipulating the Ohio visiting judge system in order to affect political case outcomes". As a result of her charges of governmental and in particular judicial corruption and whistleblowing activities, Baumgartner was disbarred by the Ohio Supreme Court, described as a "threat to the public safety". She describes the onslaught of charges against her and her disbarment as "the most obvious attempt to silence a citizen that I've ever seen".
Moyer himself allegedly lobbied the Ohio Legislature to pass an “anti-intimidation law” and according to an article appearing in the Akron Beacon Journal in August, 2001, state authorities knew they were on thin ice constitutionally when they enacted the 1996 law making it a third degree felony to file documents to intimidate public officials.
In 2001, Ohio prosecutors imprisoned four people for “paper terrorism” for having dared to challenge the government and “intimidate” public officials by trying to assert their rights under the Constitution and statutes in court, and worse of all, they do it pro se, representing themselves, yet another constitutional right.
In June, 2001, Cuyahoga County prosecutors were successful in obtaining 10-year prison sentences against two defendants for supposedly intimidating Cuyahoga County officials.
The right to protest against the government, to seek redress of grievances, was among the primary concerns of the founding fathers when they ratified the U.S. Constitution over 200 years ago. Ohio’s statute is the only one of its kind in the United States and has never been constitutionally challenged----yet.
But while Ohio’s allegedly unconstitutional law targeted non-lawyer litigants, Baumgartner was an attorney, one who graduated at the top of her law class in 1994.
In one case prosecuted in Cuyahoga County in 2001, prosecutors originally charged Sandra and Ellis Lehman with 38 counts each of intimidation, retaliation and engaging in corrupt activity, an allegation usually associated with Mafia cases, because they filed criminal complaints against several public officials and made other court filings.
But while the government appeared to be after the Lehmans, it seemed they really wanted to shut down an Akron-area group with which the Lehmans were associated called Right Way L.A.W. (Learn and Win) which had allegedly helped Mrs. Lehman draft and file court documents. Cuyahoga County prosecutors cut a deal with Lehman, dropping some of the charges against her if she would provide government officials with information concerning Right Way and other groups, or in other words, become a government informant.
However, Richard Schramm, founder of Right Way, says the group never advocated intimidating public officials and thinks that Lehman implicated the group in order to avoid prison. She was sentenced to two years in prison, all of which was suspended except for 60 days.
The Baumgartner-DuBois case has serious constitutional issues and as Robert O’Neil, director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression at the University of Virginia says, “A citizen has a right to criticize a judge”.
And such criticism, absent a threat, constitutionally constitutes legitimate political protest which cannot be criminalized.
Ohio officials claim that they were justified in passing such unconstitutionally sound legislation because of the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings. The Ohio legislature said they felt that intimidation of public officials, such as themselves, was a more serious crime than other forms of intimidation such as menacing or stalking against ordinary citizens.
Baumgartner points out that nobody has ever challenged the constitutionality of the “paper terrorism” statute because the people charged have ever been coerced into pleas or given harsh sentences and unable to file appeals. She says the statute has been used almost exclusively by prosecutors out of the economic crimes unit in Cuyahoga County.
She says the 1996 statute was intended to only apply to the filing of sham legal documents that are either false like a false bankruptcy lien or other lien filed in a legitimate court or a fake court itself such as a militia court In other words everything else would involve the "true threat" analysis of any written word. False statements only would be civil suits if they do not constitute a true threat.
“What Chief Justice Moyer has accomplished is the shutting down of the right of citizens to press criminal charges against public officials, especially judges”, Baumgartner says.
Baumgartner has been a long-time critic of Ohioan government, both local and state, alleging massive federal and state grant fraud as well as abuses of power by public officials, particularly Erie County district attorney Kevin Baxter and numerous judges in northern Ohio. In 2004, she teamed up with Bryan DuBois, 28, in the publication of Erie Voices,, a website that published articles and opinion alleging misconduct by public officials in several northern Ohio counties including Cuyahoga, Erie, Lucas and Ottawa.
Both she and DuBois were arrested last summer following a secret indictment which alleged that they had intimidated retired visiting judge Richard Markus by allegedly sending him emails expressing their opinions about various issues before him. They have been charged in both Cuyahoga County and Ottawa County.
DuBois disavowed any relationship with Baumgartner in December and it was later learned he had become a government witness against her, apparently in exchange for a favorable plea deal and other possible considerations.
Baumgartner and DuBois are scheduled to be tried together on March 27, however it's likely that the actions will be severed, especially now since it’s been revealed that DuBois and his wife, Mandy, are listed as witnesses for the prosecution against Baumgartner. It also appears that DuBois and his wife were the informants used by the government to try to justify their raiding of Baumgartner’s house to seize her computers and all documents related to her publication and work at ErieVoices as well as all of her documents and materials that substantiate her allegations of public corruption. The seizure also impairs Baumgartner in preparing for her defense of the intimidation charges levied against her by Markus and other charges.
The charges against both Baumgartner and DuBois concerns the criminalizing of speech on the internet critical of government affairs. Witnesses say that Judge Markus told Kasaris that the duo were a problem that needed to go away.
Baumgartner has been charged with multiple felony counts of intimidation and retaliation on complaint of Markus who claimed that Baumgartner had intimidated him by sending him emails critical of his judicial performance.
Baumgartner has been charged with eight counts of intimidating a judge, four counts of falsification, two counts of retaliation and possession of criminal tools, a laptop computer.
DuBois has also been charged with possession of a criminal tool as well as extortion, retaliation and intimidation.
The secret indictment against the duo was obtained by prosecutor Daniel Kasaris whose boss. Cuyahoga County prosecutor Bill Mason, had been the target of the duo’s blog's allegations of wrongdoing.
Kasaris indicted Baumgartner and DuBois in July, one day after DuBois filed a grievance against Kasaris and retired visiting judge Markus with the Cuyahoga County Bar Association. At first, Kasaris stated the Erie Voices website was not a factor in the arrest of the pair. But he said if DuBois stopped writing for the site and stopped associating with Baumgartner, he'd reduce the felony charges he brought against him to a misdemeanor. And apparently DuBois has taken the deal.
It appears that Kasaris has achieved what was possibly the ultimate goal---to shut down Erie Voices. After DuBois disavowed all association with Baumgartner and denied her access from the business after she had reportedly financed his legal defense, he suddenly removed the website from the Internet. The domain registration for Erie Voices indicates that it’s owned by The Arbor Group LLC of which Baumgartner is a principal.
According to a search warrant which appears on the website for the Ottawa County Sheriff’s office, DuBois and his wife are witnesses for the state against Baumgartner and it appears that one of them may be the “confidential reliable informant” on which the state based its application for the warrant.
The warrant was executed on Feb. 1 by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and an investigator from the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office. Baumgartner says that all of her computer-based legal materials covering investigations for over the past five years as well as evidence and documents relating to Erie Voices which exposed public corruption including serious judicial misconduct by Judge Markus was confiscated.
Nearly a month later, she says there is no indication that the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office has any intent of returning her legal files, corporate documents or computers. She says her fear is that her defense is now completely undermined and that evidence will be fabricated against her on her own computers and or that her investigative work will be corrupted.
The website was completely shut down two days after the raid on Feb. 3 by her co-defendant and business associate, DuBois. She says it’s likely that DuBois has entered into plea deal negotiations with Kasaris after becoming a witness against her which resulted in all of her business records being confiscated. DuBois later maintained that he owned the website but the domain registration indicates otherwise.
Baumgartner says that all web based evidence related to proving her allegations of public corruption and Judge Markus’s alleged involvement in fixing cases for profit is possibly lost. She charges that DuBois’ attorney Jay Milano, has $15,000 of her husband’s money in his escrow account which she says DuBois obtained from her husband via alleged false representations that Milano would not only defend DuBois but defend the First Amendment rights of Arbor Group LLC to publish.
“Instead, of protecting those rights, Mr. DuBois has allegedly destroyed them and also allegedly misappropriated all the assets of Arbor Group LLC while shutting down the website and destroying the intellectual property value of the site”, Baumgartner says.
She says that computers seized contained records dating back six years of the pay to play scheme and were “taken by government prosecutors implicated in pay to play and case fixing”.
Baumgartner says the search warrant was facially defective and was approved by Judge Frederick Hany, a judge who has recused himself from all matters involving her for the past six years until now. She believes that part of the reason her computers were seized is that articles had appeared on the internet reporting that other attorneys had come forward to report linking campaign contributions to receipt of Ohio patent work and that Attorney Seminatore had called for a widespread investigation of Ohio pay to profit schemes led by the Public Integrity section of USDOJ.
She said she had sent emails to reporters confirming that she had direct evidence of obstruction of investigations into pay to play dating back to June 2001 and that much of Tom Noe's activity runs to Ottawa County where many prominent officials have vacation homes.
In June 2001, Baumgartner first approached the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General Glen Fine with an outline of a protection scheme operating at the highest levels of Ohio Government, including Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, AG Jim Petro and Auditor Betty Montgomery, which she charged was operating in conjunction with several law firm donors, prosecutor’s offices, and judges as well as key people in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. Baumgartner said this alleged scheme was systematically allowing organized crime to flourish at unprecedented levels in Ohio. In effect, Baumgartner’s complaint claimed the machinery of state government had been converted to a racketeering enterprise which had successfully privatized the courts and ensured its members would never be prosecuted or successfully sued. She alleged that the system was then used to attack and retaliate against threats to the enterprise. She says the revelations surrounding the Thomas Noe case now validate her 2001 complaint.
Baumgartner charges that the reason Petro and Montgomery had failed to act sooner against Noe and Taft aides is that both were involved themselves in a pay to profit system involving attorneys of both parties.
“This system was first reported in December 2000 by me after Attorney William Connelly of Toledo (major donor and attorney to many Noe conduits) in cooperation with Assistant United States Attorney David Bauer undermined a public corruption complaint filed by me in Ottawa County Municipal Court (Judge Frederick Hany) and later in Common Pleas Court (Judge Paul Moon)”, Baumgartner says.
“My initial complaint disclosed efforts to obstruct inquiry into misappropriation of over $1.4 million from the Benton-Carroll-Salem Local Schools through sham contracts, fraud etc and theft of federal funds from the Put in Bay Police Department by its then Chief of Police James Lang. Attorney Connelly appeared on behalf of Chief Lang and arranged to have his own client, Defiance County prosecutor Jeff Strausbaugh, appointed as special prosecutor in under to undermine the case”, she continued.
“FBI agents Chuck Holloway and Thomas Greenawalt confirmed to me that Chief Lang did in fact misappropriate resources related to a federal COPS grant to Put in Bay but that AUSA David Bauer did not want to prosecute the case because it would result in the debarment of Put in Bay from future grants. AUSA Bauer actually gave Attorney Connelly an affidavit in direct violation of USDOJ regulations in order to assist him in undermining the criminal case I filed”. Baumgartner asserts.
“This then is the essence of pay to profit in Ohio: the ability of attorneys in conjunction with prosecutors and judges to undermine criminal prosecutions if it jeopardizes their associates’ ability to abuse their public offices.
“In June 2001, I filed a complaint with the Inspector General of USDOJ and the Public Integrity Section for a wide probe of top Ohio officials including Betty Montgomery, Jim Petro and Chief Justice Moyer and several prosecutors including Kevin Baxter, Mark Mulligan, and Jeff Strausbaugh for their alleged participation in a widespread pay to play scheme whereby contracts are allegedly steered and the investigations allegedly undermined upon complaint”, she said.
In November 2001, Baumgartner filed a petition for the establishment of a special grand jury to probe Ohio corruption.
A link which describes Baumgartner’s earliest reports of pay to profit concerning Cleveland Biotechnologies and Betty Montgomery's demand, while she served as AG, for a $10,000 fund raiser in order to be considered for special counsel work is here.
Baumgartner says that although state auditor Montgomery allegedly became aware of Tom Noe’s alleged illegal activities in April 2005, “it didn't stop her from accepting nor for William Connelly to donate to her campaign for attorney general. Not surprisingly William Connelly represented many conduits before David Bauer and they avoided federal charges while Betty Montgomery and Jim Petro avoided investigating anything”.
“Meanwhile everybody seems to have forgotten the very suspect deal involving public officials Tom Noe, James Tuschman and Pete Silverman's ground floor investments in Hi Genomics”, Baumgartner says. 2-25-06
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