Rooting out fraud, waste in Columbus

Ohio’s Inspector General’s office has its work cut out for it, after the release of a report on rampant fraud and waste in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

ODRC and Ohio Penal Industries inappropriately authorized creation of programs and gifted some items, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

Some examples include the trading in of farm equipment for credit toward other equipment, rather than selling it to pay off the bonds on two shut-down state farms; or the establishment without approval of a demolition program that pretended to provide inmates with necessary skills to get employment using heavy equipment after their release.

Inmates received no such beneficial training, and in fact were probably not even trained on the use of heavy equipment or basic safety practices.

Meanwhile, OPI GAVE a $9,000 table and set of custom chairs to state Rep. Larry Householder, R-Glenford.

“I’m a little frustrated as a Democrat listening to Republicans talk all the time about accountability and watching them do the opposite of a lot of things that they say,” Minority Leader of the House Fred Strahorn, D-Dayton, told another media outlet.

Fortunately, Inspector General Randall Meyer appears to be on the case, and understands this may be just the tip of the iceberg.

“There’s always people that will attempt to skirt the system or look for that little special handout, if you will,” he said.

Those suspected of wrongdoing in this particular investigation have been removed from the agencies in which they were working or were allowed to retire. Officials should explore whether there should be any legal consequence to their thumbing their noses at Ohio taxpayers.

And Meyer must not stop here.