For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Yost Ju(lying) his Way into August

CLEVELAND — Today is August 1st, but it would be remiss of us to let July pass without taking a look back at Yost’s long month of mishaps and lies. He truly is Ju(lying) his way into August.

Paying Ohio kids to attend his speeches. News reports revealed that Yost allowed ECOT founder Bill Lager to pay students up to $50 each in taxpayer money to attend graduation ceremonies, where Yost gave speeches and presented awards (for bookkeeping!) to the scam school on three separate occasions. Yost’s excuse? The practice was legal.

YOST OWES TAXPAYERS UP TO 300K. A number of parties have called on Yost to reimburse taxpayers for the money spent to build a crowd for his speeches. With ECOT claiming “more than 2,000” graduates in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively, Yost’s total tab to taxpayers could exceed $300,000. We’re still waiting for him to give it back.

Yost and crew continue lying about the now-debunked ‘165 claim.’ Even after a cleveland.com deep dive debunked Yost’s repeated claim that his office has secured convictions for 165 public officials, Yost has continued to lie about his record.

This time around, he’s taken his lies to Google search ads for his campaign:

Republicans Splinter on ECOT & DeWine Throws Yost Under the Bus. In an attempt to deflect blame, Attorney General Mike DeWine insisted his hands were tied in holding ECOT and its founder accountable due to Yost’s failure to refer the case. First, that isn’t true. The AG has full authority to investigate corruption far and wide — and certainly corruption right in front of him. Second, it looks like Republicans are splintering on ECOT by pointing fingers at each other. The Republican ECOT cover-up continues.

Yost Teaching a Course He Flunked. Today — if you can believe it — Yost and his office are hosting a community school training and offering courses in attendance reporting and fraud prevention. The fraud prevention course is titled “Fraud Red Flags” and promises to cover “various fraud schemes and techniques to proactively prevent fraud.”

We think a case study in the timeline below holds a lot of “real life example” promise for pupils:

October 2014 – ECOT alerts the Auditor’s office that a whistleblower has alleged the e-school is “cooking its attendance books.”

November 12, 2014 – Yost filed paperwork to create the Yost 2014 Transition Fund.

November 25, 2014 – Yost’s office decides against conducting a full audit in response to the whistleblower’s claims and writes ECOT to lay the groundwork for a limited “special examination”

December 2, 2014 – ECOT writes Yost’s office objecting to auditors’ request to review log-in data as part of the special investigation

December 12, 2014 – The Yost 2014 Transition Fund received $7,500 from ECOT’s parent company, founder and a top executive – over 20 percent of the money it raised.

December 16, 2014 – Yost signed ECOT’s audit for the year ending June 30, 2014.

January 22, 2015 – Yost closed the special investigation of ECOT, concluding “all was ok,” according to the Columbus Dispatch. Auditors never ask again for log-in data.

You can check out the full agenda HERE.

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Steve Dettelbach, the Democratic candidate for Ohio Attorney General, is a former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and career federal prosecutor.