Former businessman, congressman and gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci blasted Ohio’s lieutenant governor in a press release after it was reported Monday that Lt. Gov. John Husted took a paid position on the board of Heartland Banccorp.
“Ohio taxpayers are struggling everyday to make ends meet. With rising food prices and costs increasing at the gasoline pumps, this move by a public official is unacceptable, a conflict of interest, but even worse unethical,” Renacci said. “No legal opinion can make any Ohioan believe that there are not conflicts between the sitting lieutenant governor and him being paid to be on a community bank board in Ohio. As a board member on several public companies and once on a bank board this should never be allowed to occur. Maybe the lieutenant governor can also fill one of the positions on the First Energy board? This is why Republicans have lost faith in their Republican leadership. We deserve better.”
Renacci referred to the ongoing scandal regarding the now-bankrupt First Energy, which has plagued Governor Mike DeWine’s (R) administration for years.
Husted has no experience in the banking industry and instead has worked in politics for his entire career.
The former congressman also noted that Husted has received other perks for his role in the state government, including a pay bump from $78,041 to $113,900 in 2019, which was approved by the legislature just before DeWine and Husted assumed office in 2020.
Renacci says the legislature approved the pay increase at the request of Husted and DeWine.
According to the press release, Renacci also noted the legislature gave Husted what he calls “a second gift” – the directorship of an InnovateOhio, which comes with a salary of $176,426.
Then-governor John Kasich (R) vetoed the bill that would have given Husted the position, only for the legislature to override the veto, allowing Husted to take the position after all.
“So now, why is Husted taking a bank board job with an Ohio Community bank?” the press release says. “Does he need more money because of rising inflation? Does he have any background in banking or business to provide expertise to the bank? What value does he bring to the bank other than being the lieutenant governor? Or is he getting ready to run for another political office and needs more income so he can step back and take the lessor [sic] pay of $113,900 for doing nothing along with the new directors’ fees?”
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Jim Renacci” by U.S. House of Representatives. Photo “Jon Husted” by Vivien McClain. CC BY-SA 4.0. Background Photo “Ohio Statehouse” by Ɱ. CC BY-SA 4.0.