Thursday, November 02, 2006

Elections Commission Finds Probable Cause in Complaint that Taylor Lied

COLUMBUS -- A panel of the Ohio Elections Commission today unanimously found probable cause that Mary Taylor, Republican candidate for state auditor, made false statements to voters about owning a construction firm, Welty Building Company. Her Hearing in front of the full Commission is on Monday.

Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern filed the complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission after Welty’s lawyer claimed that Mary Taylor “owns no interest in her husband’s business, and has not since December 31, 2004.” The letter from Welty’s lawyer was surprising given that Mary Taylor claimed on her website that “Taylor and her husband Don own and operate a construction management firm in the Akron area.” An additional press release quotes her as saying she is a “small business owner.” (4/6/06)

In response to this and the many other ethical lapses by Mary Taylor, the Ohio Democratic Party launched a website, http://www.somethingaboutmarytaylor.com/ exposing her misdeeds.

The statement of ownership, and then Welty Building Company’s disavowal of her ownership in the company, leads to larger questions of her honesty on the campaign trail and as state representative.

“Mary Taylor just can’t be trusted. Her loose ethical conduct is not something that Ohioans want in a state auditor and she should be ashamed by her campaign tactics,” said Redfern.

The complaint comes as Mary Taylor has struggled to explain her role in Letter-gate. She wrote and distributed a letter on official House stationary to Republican lawmakers, and cc’d to donors, noting that ‘several of the Ohio Republican Party’s biggest supporters’ supported restoring funding to University of Akron’s Global Business Program. It was later revealed that Welty Building Company was in line to receive a $331,000 contract to manage the construction of the Global Business Institute building.

Questions still need to be answered about whether or not Mary Taylor has violated Ohio Revised Code Section 2921.42, a fourth degree felony.
§ 2921.42. Having an unlawful interest in a public contract

(A) No public official shall knowingly do any of the following:

(1) Authorize, or employ the authority or influence of his office to secure authorization of any public contract in which he, a member of his family, or any of his business associates has an interest.

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