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IG Report Finds Fraud And Abuse In Prisons Program

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The head of Ohio’s government watchdog agency has found what he’s calling “rampant fraud, waste and abuse” in the inmate vocational training program that operates 33 shops at 13 prisons. 

Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the report now goes on to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office.

 

Inspector general Randall Meyer says Department of Rehabilitation and Correction employees used their positions with Ohio Penal Industries for personal gain. Meyer says he found 26 examples of wrongdoing including free repairs on personal vehicles, inmate labor used for personal tasks, and spending on dairy barns at London and Marion that were closed before they were ever used.

“The dairy barns themselves, once the bonds come through and all the interest is paid on that, it’s $13 million.”

 

Meyer also notes free custom made furniture, including a table and chairs valued at more than $9,000 given to Represenative Larry Householder, who’s locked in a battle with Speaker Ryan Smith to lead the House next year. The furniture has been returned. The prisons department says aggressive actions have been taken, including leadership and personnel changes. The report can be found here: https://watchdog.ohio.gov/Portals/0/pdf/investigations/2017-CA00024.pdf

The Statehouse News Bureau was founded in 1980 to provide educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations. To this day, the Bureau remains the only broadcast outlet dedicated to in-depth coverage of state government news and topics of statewide interest. The Bureau is funded througheTech Ohio, and is managed by ideastream. The reporters at the Bureau follow the concerns of the citizens and voters of Ohio, as well as the actions of the Governor, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Supreme Court, and other elected officials. We strive to cover statehouse news, government issues, Ohio politics, and concerns of business, culture and the arts with balance and fairness, and work to present diverse voices and points of view from the Statehouse and throughout Ohio. The three award-winning journalists at the bureau have more than 60 combined years of radio and television experience. They can be heard on National Public Radio and are regular contributors to Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. Every weekday, the Statehouse News Bureau produces in-depth news reports forOhio's public radio stations. Those stories are also available on this website, either on the front page or in our archives. Weekly, the Statehouse News Bureau produces a television show from our studios in the Statehouse. The State of Ohio is an unique blend of news, interviews, talk and analysis, and is broadcast on Ohio's public television stations. The Statehouse News Bureau also produces special programming throughout the year, including the Governor's annual State of the State address to the Ohio General Assembly and a five-part year-end review.
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