[LFC Comments: We received the following letter from Mr. Joe Shriver, Democrat Candidate for the Lake County Auditor’s position, to Mr. Chris Galloway, the current Auditor. It is our position that every elected official must avoid even the slightest hint of any impropriety while holding public office, or even when running for public office.
This letter is mentioned in Mr. Shriver’s press release that will be published.]
August 25, 2020
Mr. Chris Galloway
Lake County Auditor
105 Main Street
Painesville, OH 44077
Re: Transparency of Elected Officials; respond no later than Sept 7 th, 2020.
Dear Mr. Galloway,
On behalf of the citizens and taxpayers of Lake County, I am writing you to solicit
your answers to serious concerns regarding the $61 million racketeering and bribery charges brought by U.S. Attorney David DeVilles against ex-Speaker Larry Householder and his associates.
The public is concerned that you and the Republican Party might still support the criminally indicted ex-Speaker Larry Householder and his top political lieutenant Jamie Callender (AKA “Representative 3”).
Your party refuses to remove Mr. Householder from office and still endorses Mr. Callender as of the date of this letter. You are known to personally share the political memoranda of Mr. Householder on your Facebook page. Will you publicly condemn them today?
This ongoing criminal investigation involves many names and relationships in
Lake County and is described by the FBI and federal prosecutors as the biggest
bribery case in Ohio history. After an initial round of arrests, Mr. DeVilles
indicated that others are being investigated for their involvement. We can only
speculate who is being investigated now and who might be arrested next.
According to the FBI’s investigation, First Energy (AKA “Company A”) gave Mr.
Householder tens of millions of dollars to elect himself, Mr. Callender and the rest
of “Team Householder” in return for passing House Bill 6 (“HB6”)—an over $1B
government subsidy to First Energy paid for by our utility bills. This was done
under the guise of saving the Perry Nuclear Power Plant and Davis Besse, even
though all concerned knew both plants would inevitably close under HB6 as soon
as the subsidy payments to First Energy were complete.
Instead of doing the right thing and saving jobs in Lake County, the majority of the $1B subsidy was slated to be paid to investors, politicians, out-of-state special interests and lobbyists. Lobbyists like Mr. Brian Durdle, who was registered to lobby in favor of HB6.
While Mr. Durdle was lobbying for the billion-dollar bailout levy, he received over
$100,000 from the Laketran Levy. After Mr. Durdle successfully lobbied for HB6,
the same Republican County Commissioners who also lobbied for HB6 voted to
pay over $40,000 to Mr. Durdle’s consulting firms, Moreland Consulting and
Project Finance Solutions.
Campaign finance reports indicate that HB6 Lobbyist Brian Durdle has provided
political contributions to the Galloway for Auditor Campaign and other campaigns
directed by your consulting firm Red State Strategies. In fact, Mr. Durdle is
sponsoring a cocktail party for your political campaign on 09/08/2020.
In addition, Republican County Commissioner Jerry Cirino’s campaign finance
report shows that he received $5,000 from one of the campaign funds that is
under federal investigation after testifying in Columbus in favor of HB6. Mr.
Cirino has since admitted he was wrong to accept this money by giving away the
contribution to charity.
Will you join with Mr. Cirino and admit you were wrong by returning the contributions made to you by HB6 Lobbyist Brian Durdle?
Given the alleged financial irregularities over HB6 and public concerns over
widespread corruption, the taxpayers of Lake County deserve to have complete
transparency concerning their public officials’ financial dealings.
Since you only spend a minority of your time serving as County Auditor and have
chosen to run a private political consultant company, you obviously believe that
elected officials should be able to conduct private business dealings with each
other while holding public office.
It is extremely important that the taxpayers be aware of your private business dealings to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest with your position as Lake County Auditor.
1) Please provide all receipts and contracts describing all services provided
by Mr. Brian Durdle and/or any of his companies or employees for services provided to any Lake County public entity or Lake County public official.
2) Please provide all documentation that details your personal involvement with Mr. Brian Durdle, Moreland Consulting, and other business dealings with Mr. Durdle.
3) What political or levy campaigns have you or any of your private companies or businesses directed over the past five years?
4) Why is it acceptable for you to serve as Chairman of the Concord Township JEDD while holding the full-time Lake County Auditor’s position?
5) Your travel expenses to attend continuing education classes far exceed what our former Auditor, the Honorable Ed Zupancic, incurred over the previous eleven years. How can you justify those excessive travel expenses?
6) Are you running the campaign of George Phillips for the Ohio State House
or receiving compensation from his campaign and what was the reason you created a paid position for his wife with taxpayer dollars to hire her onto your staff?
7) Do you continue to support Mr. Householder, Mr. Callender and their scheme to pass HB 6 at the grave cost of Lake County taxpayers? Mr. Galloway, will you be honest and transparent with the taxpayers of Lake County?
Democrat Candidate for Lake County Auditor
LFC Comments: We are neutral on Mr. Jamie Callender’s involvement with H.B. 6 until the F.B.I. completes their investigation. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and Mr. Callender is entitled to his due process rights. It is our opinion, that Secretary of State LaRose did a disservice to Mr. Callender and the citizens in District 61 by the way he handled his reporting of the F.B.I. complaint to the State Election’s Board. Here is a link to our prior article concerning that issue.
LFC Comments: We also received the following documentation from Mr. Shriver.
These are four campaign finance reports for LakeTran. To view the reports you must click on the “download” button, and then open in other tab in your browser.
The donations to Durdle’s Moreland Consulting were as follows:
- 6/12/19 $ 4,000.00
- 8/29/19 $ 8,000.00
- 10/2/19 $ 39,751,66
- 10/29/19 $ 3,600.00
- 10/10/20 $ 47,753.10
- TOTAL $103,104.76
This flyer shows that Brian Durdle is part of the Host Committee for Mr. Galloway’s Fundraiser.
This is the document showing Mr. Durdle was a registered lobbyist for the First Energy Solutions Bondholder Group.