Questions Jon Husted Needs to Answer About His Unprecedented Move to Take a Paid Corporate Gig While in Office
May 25, 2022
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Columbus, OH — Earlier this week, it was uncovered by Andrew Tobias at Cleveland.com that Jon Husted had accepted a paid corporate board job while remaining in office as lieutenant governor – another example of the DeWine administration using their taxpayer-funded jobs to line their own pockets. It’s a move that’s raising eyebrows and ethics questions about whether Husted’s move is legal and how Husted can avoid the myriad of conflicts raised by his decision.
Here are eight questions Jon Husted must answer:
- Did Mike DeWine know about Husted’s decision to take a corporate job while remaining in office and did he sign off on the decision?
- Did Husted consult the Ohio Ethics Commission about the unprecedented move?
- How much money will Husted make for his paid, corporate gig?
- Will Husted be willing to accept a decision by an ethics commission that directs him to choose between his corporate job or his lieutenant governorship?
- Will he commit to donating his taxpayer salary given the fact that he’s now receiving outside compensation?
- What guardrails did the administration put in place to deal with conflicts of interest?
- Were any promises or commitments made to the bank in exchange for Husted’s paid appointment?
- Has Husted pursued any other paid corporate jobs on top of his full-time elected role?
“Too many Ohio families are struggling to make ends meet under the DeWine administration. Yet, DeWine’s own lieutenant governor is using his political position to line his own pockets, as if his six-figure taxpayer salary wasn’t enough. Taxpayers have been fleeced by this administration enough already. Jon Husted must be held accountable for this unprecedented move and answer key questions about the conflict of interest and legal concerns his decision creates,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Matt Keyes.
May 23, 2022
- Husted will be compensated for the board job, according to Hayley Carducci, a spokeswoman, but won’t say how much until he’s required to disclose it next year in a mandatory state financial disclosure. Husted got elected to the bank’s board after he and his wife, Tina, bought shares of the company earlier this year, Carducci said.
- Heartland Bank has several points of overlap with the state government. Among them:
- As a state-chartered bank, it is regulated by the state Department of Commerce, organized under Gov. Mike DeWine’s office. The commerce department’s duties include mediating consumer complaints and conducting on-site inspections, according to its annual report. It also proposes rules for banks and other financial lenders; the rule-making process includes getting approval from an agency overseen by Husted’s office: the Common Sense Initiative, which analyzes proposed government rules for their potential impact on private businesses.
- Heartland is certified as a public depository, meaning it’s eligible to hold cash and other investments owned by the state government, thanks to votes from the state board of deposit, made up of state Treasurer Robert Sprague, state Auditor Keith Faber and state Attorney General Dave Yost.
- Through a title company subsidiary called Transcounty Title Agency, Heartland participates in an electronic lien and titling program administered through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which falls under the governor’s office. Transcounty Title Agency also received $813,100 in state grants, administered through the state Public Works Commission, from 2013 through 2015, according to OhioCheckbook.com, the state’s fiscal transparency website.
- Heartland Bank received a $22,500 grant from the state government in 2017 through a small-business program administered by the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, a panel whose members are appointed by the governor, according to OhioCheckbook.com. It also has received about $11,100 from the state commerce department since 2017, although that was for unclaimed funds abandoned by former account holders, and most of it occurred before DeWine was elected. In addition, the state attorney general’s office has paid Heartland a minimal amount — just under $1,400 — since 2016 for investigative services, most recently a $34 payment in March.
- Heartland Bank’s CEO, Scott McComb, has political ties to state Republicans, giving at least $17,100 to GOP candidates since 2016, according to state campaign-finance records. That includes just under $10,000 to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and $5,000 to the DeWine/Husted campaign, including $2,500 in March, around the time Husted was named to the company’s board. McComb’s mother served as a central committeewoman for the Ohio Republican Party, according to a 2018 profile in Independent Banker, a trade group.
Statehouse News Bureau: Ohio’s lieutenant governor defends decision to add on private sector job
May 24, 2022
- Ohio’s Republican lieutenant governor is taking some heat for accepting an outside paid job on top of the work he’s already doing as the state’s second-in-command to Gov. Mike DeWine.
- Husted, who is also DeWine’s running mate for re-election in November, said he’d thought about investing in a community bank and joining its board “for many years”.
- Husted said being on the board will help him understand how interest rates, inflation and government regulations affect small businesses and the economy.
- The CEO of Heartland Bank has donated more than $19,000 to Republican candidates since 2016.