Treasurer Josh Mandel says JobsOhio expenses should be public

From The Plain Dealer Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel said spending by JobsOhio, the state's private economic development organization, should be available to the public.

Mandel's office recently launched a website containing records of all state agency transactions, and he said JobsOhio, funded by bonds backed by state liquor profits, should do the same.

"I believe the benefit of empowering Ohio taxpayers to see how the money is being spent there outweighs the cost of other states seeing how the money is being spent," Mandel said during a panel discussion hosted by the Associated Press. "When we think about transparency in government, we should always err on the side of empowering taxpayers to see how the money is being spent."

JobsOhio spokesman Matt Englehart said there might be a misunderstanding about the organization's transparency.

"We're probably the most transparent private company Ohio has ever seen and that's mandated by law," Englehart said in an email.

Englehart said state law requires the organization to publicly disclose private funds it receives and annually undergo a full review of internal compliance processes.

"We're glad to clarify these for anyone who doesn't understand them or is unfamiliar with them," Englehart said.

JobsOhio's private status has been disputed by critics, but the only legal challenge to the arrangement was rejected last year by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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