• Contracts to build schools at heart of corruption claim Friday, October 15, 2010 02:55 AM By Darrel Rowland THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH A conservative group sued Gov. Ted Strickland, his chief of staff, the Ohio School Facilities Commission and others yesterday, alleging that they engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity by favoring unions in school-construction contracts. A lawyer for the Columbus-based 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed the action on behalf of six Richland County residents - including the founder of the local tea party - in that county's Common Pleas Court. The lawsuit parallels many of the August findings of Inspector General Thomas P. Charles about the commission's pro-union slant after Richard Murray was hired to replace Michael Shoemaker

  • By LINDA MARTZ • CentralOhio.com • October 15, 2010 MANSFIELD -- Six Richland County residents filed a lawsuit through a Columbus-based conservative group Thursday, claiming Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio School Facilities Commission engaged in corrupt activity by favoring unions on school construction projects. Two Richland County school districts are named as defendants. The lawsuit focuses partly on an April 12 meeting between Ohio School Facilities Commission director Richard C. Murray, Shelby and Madison school superintendents and Mansfield area union officials. The lawsuit contends Murray, with encouragement by Strickland and his chief of staff, has pressured school districts to use Project Labor Agreements, which require contractors to hire workers from local union halls, or have their non-union employees pay

  • October 15, 2010 3:35 PM ET COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A libertarian legal center has sued Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, key aides and a labor union alleging they engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity regarding school construction contracts. The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed the suit on behalf of 6 residents of Richland County in north-central Ohio. It cites August findings of the state watchdog that Strickland's schools construction chief, Richard Murray, abused his authority in awarding contracts. The suit accuses Strickland, his chief of staff, Murray and the Laborers International Union of bribery, intimidation, obstructing justice, and money laundering. The governor's spokeswoman calls the suit an act of election-season desperation by supporters of Strickland's political opponent, Republican

  • 1851 Center Lawsuit alleges Strickland administration and OSFC placed union financial interests and remaining in office above fiscal responsibility in building schools. COLUMBUS – Tax dollars have been wasted and continue to be at risk due to an unlawfully cozy relationship between the Strickland administration and labor unions, claim a group of Mansfield-area taxpayers. The residents today filed an Ohio Corrupt Activities Act complaint against Gov. Ted Strickland, Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) Executive Director Richard Murray, the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and others. The suit will demonstrate members of the Strickland administration, organized labor, and Murray used the OSFC and school building construction contracts to engage in pattern of corrupt activities expressly prohibited under Ohio’s RICO

  • October 18, 2010 - Taxpayer Victory: Gahanna Indefinitely Postpones Ill-Advised $375K High-Risk Venture Capital Loan Fund Gahanna City Council indefinitely postponed a vote authorizing a city-backed $375,000 high-risk venture capital loan fund after the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law threatened legal action against the city. Gahanna City Council had proposed an ordinance permitting the mayor to contract with the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) for the creation of a venture capital loan fund. The fund would issue high-interest and interest-only loans to local businesses and individuals considered high-risk by conventional lenders. During a Sept. 7 council meeting, 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson advised city officials against the constitutionally prohibited plan. Thompson informed council members that the Ohio Constitution