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Pepper calls out DeWine

Register • Jul 27, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine still has a pending corruption investigation in Fremont and already has a dismal record holding local police and sheriff's deputies accountable. 

Now his Democratic opponent contends the fish rots from the head.

David Pepper said DeWIne has a "pay-to-play" deal with supporters and a "rigged bid process" involving "a whole lot of lobbying and a whole lot of campaign cash."

"Mike DeWine is not meeting with his official staff to make decisions but is meeting with his chief fundraiser," Pepper said. 

DeWine did not respond to Pepper's allegations in news articles published by the Dayton Daily News and cleveland.com. 

The Dayton Daily News reported that attorneys and companies awarded state collections work by the AG's office gave $1.38 million to DeWine, his son Pat DeWine's judicial campaign and the Ohio Republican Party.

DeWine personally oversaw the bidding process, the article stated. 

DeWine responded through a spokesman, who denied the AG, or his office was involved in any wrongdoing.

The pending investigation in Fremont involves city computers that were "wiped clean," and the Fremont Reservoir project,. The reservoir was completed in 2013 with more than $36 million in cost overruns and litigation awards. 

DeWine agreed earlier this year to conduct an investigation after initially balking at initiating a probe for more than a year. City officials asked DeWIne in early 2013 to review it, citing conflicts of interest in having the alleged tampering investigated locally. 

The city computers sanitized were the ones used by former mayor Terry Overmyer, former safety services director Sam Derr and former city project manager Jerry O'Kenka. They all left public service with the city at the end of 2012 when Overmyer was defeated for re-election. 

All three officials also were closely associated with the development and construction of the Fremont Reservoir project. 

DeWine has refused to comment on the scope and nature of his investigation, or provide any status updates. 

In June, the AG's office forwarded the Fremont computers file to the Ohio Ethics Commission for an opinion. It's not clear what DeWine is seeking from the Ethics Commission, which has limited power over criminal investigations. 

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