For anyone interested in what it takes to “pull back the curtain” on the conduct of our elected officials, join us on our journey to find the answers on who got the $42,618.91 from the ‘Citizens for Troy’ campaign committee to elect Daniel Troy, a current Lake County commissioner, as State Representative.
First, some background – Commissioner Troy decided to run for State Representative in 2012. To meet the Ohio Revised Code he had to dispose of $42,618.91 excess funds from his Campaign Committee. (only permitted to “carry in $35,000) He set up a non-profit called “Lake County Governance Education Fund”. The vexing problem is no one can give us any details about the fund finances. Emails to Kip Molenaar, and Commissioner Troy asking for the details have, to date, produce nothing but the “sound of crickets”. Emails to Troy and Molenaar
Here is the Permissive Funds Report that explicitly shows the “Disposal of Excess Funds” of $42,618.91 to the “Lake County Governance Education Fund”.
Permissive Funds Report 2012
So it certainly appears that the cash was transferred to the fund. Here is an on-line record that shows that as of 2014 the fund balance was zero. On line report as of 2014
Please note that the fund is in care of Daniel Troy, not his treasurer, Kip Molenaar. The address reported belongs to a prestigious Columbus law firm retained to handle this transaction for him. We can, therefore, reasonably conclude that sometime between March 6, 2012 (the day the LCGEF was created), and December 31, 2014 Daniel Troy, or his designee, made a disbursement(s) to someone or some entity.
Trying to uncover all the details of Troy’s entire State Representative campaign started to give us the feel of watching a skilled 3 card monte hustler deceiving an unsuspecting dupe. We decided to create a time line of events that would perhaps allow us to find the $42,618.91 as the “cards were shuffled”. This time line was emailed to Troy and Molenaar asking that they review it, and to please let us know if we are incorrect with any of the reported events. To date, we have received no response from either gentleman.
Time Line of events
When creating this time line, we uncovered some additional, very interesting, facts that we thought may interest Lake County taxpayers.
1. A complaint was filed with the Ohio Elections Commission by Mr. James Helmink, a Democrat opponent for the State Representative position. Ohio Elections Commission Case Summary
The complaint was based on the fact that either Molenaar or Troy erred by not disposing of the $42,618.91 in a timely fashion as dictated by the Ohio Revised Code. In effect, there was an oversight by not watching the details. So why was that so important – it was just a clerical error? Keep reading…..
2. The Ohio Revised Code section 3517.109 requires that a candidate must dispose of the excess funds, detailed on the aforementioned Permissive Funds Report, by a certain date, or the candidate CANNOT APPEAR ON THE BALLOT. Literally, the clerical error eliminated Troy’s opportunity to run for the State Representative race.
So now what does Troy do?……shuffle, shuffle, deflect, spin,spin, shuffle, shuffle, try to find the $42,618.91 as a master politician works his magic…
3. In a Plain Dealer article dated August 3, 2012, the taxpayers are told that Troy dropped out of the race for the 60th House District. The reason provided to the newspapers: “….he was overwhelmed with local support for him to remain a county commissioner”. As they say down south, “that dog won’t hunt”. We either have “falsification”, or “lack of candor” in full display. The taxpayers should be “overwhelmed” by the deception perpetrated on them. As they say, the cover up is usually worse than the crime. Plain Dealer article 8-3-12
4. One week later, a News-Herald article announces the selection of John Rogers to replace Troy as the Democratic candidate for the Ohio House District 60. As we can see from the article Mr. Helmink, after having the audacity to file a complaint with the Ohio Election Commission, is not chosen to replace Troy – and we thought that honesty was always the best policy. New-Herald article 8-10-12
5. So what penalty did Troy have to pay for the clerical error? We can see from this report obtained from our research into Troy’s Campaign Finance Reports, Troy donated at least $10,100.00 to Mr. John Rogers campaign. In reality, it was “all in the family”, so maybe the $10,100 was a small price to pay.
Friends of Rogers Donation
So where are we now in our quest for to find the answers on what happened to the $42,618.91. It may be easier to find the “Ark of the Covenant” than what happened to those funds, but we do not give up easily – check that – we NEVER give up.
There is a couple of nagging questions that has us perplexed:
1. If Troy meant to dispose of the money to charity, why not just write a check to the Education Fund, and then have the Fund dispense the money. Why the need for the convoluted set up of all the non-profits, for-profits company, and the constant change of agents of records?
2. If Troy’s opponents were aware of these facts (LFC is not the first to uncover this), why did they not pursue this? Makes one go Hmmmmm?
We went back to one of our sources and confirmed what we had been told about this whole sordid affair. Here is what was confirmed: Email source 10-10-18
Note that no one has been able to find any IRS filings, and no one has found documentation for the disbursement of the $42,000+. We have decided to take our research to another level. We have sent the following email to the State of Ohio Elections Board. Email sent to State Board of Elections 10-12-18
Our next step is to contact the Ohio Ethics Commission. We did not approach them first because we were told by several sources that once you file an Ethics complaint, you are precluded from speaking about it in public. Once we inform the Lake County taxpayers, we will follow up with the Ethics Commission.
We have emailed a news release to the Plain Dealer, the News-Herald and the Tribune. We shall see if they have any interest in what we discovered. Stay tuned, we plan to update this post as we get additional information.
This entire matter can be easily and quickly resolved if Molenaar or Troy would provide documentation who received what from the Lake County Governance Education Fund. It should not be this difficult to be honest and transparent with Lake County taxpayers.