ICYMI: Ohio Dems: Yost Must Recuse Himself

“If Yost had simply done his job in 2014,” Boggs said, “we might not be in this situation.”

In case you missed it… State Rep. and former assistant attorney general Kristin Boggs yesterday called on Auditor Dave Yost to recuse himself from investigating the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) — however, Yost is steadfastly refusing to step aside, despite the fact his office has failed at cracking down on the e-charter.

Yost’s office is claiming they have completed three audits of ECOT…

But Ohio taxpayers are still waiting for ECOT to repay $60 million that the school overbilled the state.

As Boggs noted on yesterday’s call, “If Yost had simply done his job in 2014, we might not be in this situation.”

From the Northwest Signal:

During a media conference call organized by the Ohio Democratic Party, Boggs referenced a Columbus Dispatch article which revealed Yost’s office was contacted by a whistle blower in 2014 about how the charter school was calculating its enrollment.

“They were aware of the issues … and did nothing,” Boggs said. “This is their core mission, to protect state tax dollars.”

Boggs noted the auditor’s office did not perform a full audit of ECOT after the allegations but instead they reached an agreed upon procedures engagement to determine the scope of the inquiry with company officials.

“One of the most disturbing things about this is the process of the agreed upon procedures engagement,” said Boggs, who was formerly an assistant attorney general. “I don’t know of any other entity who is accused of wrongdoing that gets to participate in determining the guardrails in which they are investigated for that wrongdoing.”

From Ohio Public Radio:

“If Yost had simply done his job back in 2014 we might not be in a situation with ECOT running TV ads and this fighting in court to hang on to their ill-gotten gains.”

Yost’s office contends they did conduct an audit, actually 3 in a 13-month span, and that he plans to stay involved in any future evaluations.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Democratic state Rep. Kristin Boggs issued a scathing call Monday for state Auditor Dave Yost to remove himself from any current or future investigations into ECOT, which is accused of overbilling the state by $60 million over the past several years.

“If Yost had simply done his job in 2014,” Boggs said, “we might not be in this situation.”

The Columbus-area Democrat sent a letter to the Republican auditor calling for his recusal, saying campaign contributions from the online charter school clouded his impartiality and “cast a shadow” over his actions.

“I expect those guardrails are put up to ensure it’s an unbiased process,” Boggs said.

Yost, she said, habitually demonstrated inconsistency in dealing with the beleaguered school. In 2014, a whistleblower made allegations about the Electronic School of Tomorrow overbilling the state and cooking their attendance records. Instead of fully investigating the claim, Yost took no real action, Boggs said.

From Gongwer:

Rep. Boggs, a former assistant attorney general, said that in 2014 Auditor Yost received information from an ECOT whistleblower detailing the school’s fraudulent enrollment data. Nonetheless, she said, Mr. Yost was convinced by ECOT officials to limit the scope of an investigation and not request student login information.

“This complicity allowed ECOT to be overpaid millions of taxpayer dollars,” she said. “To me that is the crux of the situation we have at hand.”

Former Congressman Zack Space weighed in on Twitter this morning: