Three U.S. senators who this week endorsed Ohio Republican candidate Jane Timken for U.S. Senate are silent after The Ohio Star reached out to ask about Timken’s alleged mismanagement of Ohio Republican Party (ORP) funds.
Tuesday, Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) endorsed Timken in the hotly contested primary race that includes candidates J.D. Vance, Mike Gibbons and Josh Mandel.
“As a fellow Midwesterner, Jane understands the challenges our farmers and small businesses face, and I look forward to working alongside another powerful mom and female in the U.S. Senate,” Ernst reportedly said.
Fischer said Timken was a “pro-life, pro-agriculture, and pro-military candidate.”
“I’ve come to know Jane as a thoughtful and dedicated conservative leader who will tackle these issues head-on and bring tenacious, positive leadership to Washington,” said Capito.
But none of the senators responded when The Star attempted to reach them to ask about what is the ORP’s largest political scandal, in which Timken is a central figure.
Ernst and Capito’s offices did not return messages from The Star, and Fischer’s office could not be reached for comment.
The investigation into the financial scandal is led by former Ernst and Young accountant Mark Bainbridge, who is a leader of the ORP State Central Committee’s reform caucus.
Bainbridge alleges that Timken failed to “put in place internal financial controls and practices necessary during her tenure” and accuses her of having a conflict of interest when Timken did hire an auditor to look over the ORP’s accounting practices.
The Star reported:
In the letter, Bainbridge said the McLean, Virginia-based Rightside Compliance LLC consulting firm in 2017 offered a detailed look into the ORP accounts which have not been audited for at least 16 years despite the ORP bylaws requiring such a robust examination of its financial accounts every year.
That internal report, Bainbridge said, revealed the Ohio GOP needed to rework its books to comply with generally accepted accounting procedures – or GAAP, in financial accounting parlance.
Timken was the chairwoman of the ORP from 2017 until 2021 when she resigned from her post to run for U.S. Senate.
“Specifically, Bainbridge said the report flagged other issues with the Ohio GOP’s records and accounting practices, including the need for internal accounting controls, implementation of financial audit processes and the hiring of an experienced chief financial officer,” The Star reported.
Bainbridge says the audit committee did not meet in Timken’s four years at the helm of the party, despite the report from Rightside Compliance.
When Timken did hire a private auditor, she allegedly hired one with which she had a conflict of interest.
Accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen was hired for the job. That firm was also Timken’s personal accounting firm.
In essence, Timken had the opportunity to correct course in regards to the party finances when she took over the party but failed to do so.
Now, the problems have worsened under the leadership of new Chairman Bob Paduchik, who is currently duking it out with Bainbridge as Bainbridge continues to harangue the party about its accounting practices.
“Quite simply, Mark is making crazy accusations of fiscal malfeasance to damage the State Central Committee,” Paduchik said of the allegations that the ORP is failing in its accounting compliance.
“When Mark first brought up his concerns, I tried to work with him and his followers. In some instances, we employed some of his recommendations.”
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