Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Donor's gifts keep on giving - headaches to Mandel, Renacci

It seems that Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel's ties to indicted Canton businessman Ben Suarez simply won't go away. The  Columbus Dispatch reported that the son of Suarez's lawyer  is working in Mandel's office as deputy director of internal audit and counsel  at $78,000 a year.

The Cleveland lawyer, Roger Synenberg, is a former Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman.  His son Eric, the Dispatch noted, was reimbursed $4,544 for "expenses"  in Mandel's failed Senate campaign  against  Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. That figure was quite close to the $4,500 that his father contributed to the campaign.

Suarez and his company's chief financial officer, Michael Giorgio,  were indicted by a federal grand jury in Cleveland for an alleged illegal scheme of about $200,000 in campaign contributions to Mandel and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, Wadsworth Republican.

Mandel and Renacci have denied conspiring with Suarez to launder their contributions and say they have returned  thousands of dollars to company employes who were recruited to be conduits for the contributions. The accounting will be good practice for a state treasurer.

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