Yost’s Tab to Taxpayers Could Total as much as 300k
From Payments to Students to Attend His ECOT Speeches
CLEVELAND — Earlier this month, news broke revealing that Auditor of State Dave Yost spoke in front of an audience of kids being paid taxpayer cash at the now-defunct online charter school, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT).
Yost spoke at ECOT graduations in front of paid audiences on three separate occasions from 2013 to 2015. In two of the speeches, Yost presented ECOT with an award for being good stewards of taxpayer money, despite the fact that the audience watching him do it were being paid tax money and that the school was defrauding the state of Ohio to the tune of nearly $200 million.
With ECOT claiming “more than 2,000” graduates in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively, Yost’s total tab to taxpayers could exceed $300,000. It is at a minimum incumbent on the Auditor’s office, without Yost, to calculate just how much money was wasted on Yost’s paid audiences. Yet again, this newest part of the scandal demonstrates again why Yost must recuse himself from any matters relating to ECOT.
Over two weeks ago, the Ohio Democratic Party called on Yost to reimburse taxpayers for speeches. There has been nothing but silence from Yost.
Steve Dettelbach, Democratic nominee for Ohio Attorney General, issued the following statement:
“Dave Yost still owes taxpayers as much as $300,000 for his paid ECOT speech audiences; he needs to reimburse those taxpayers for the cash that ECOT misused for his benefit immediately.
“In order to fill the room for his speeches at ECOT graduation ceremonies — where he presented the scam school with awards for bookkeeping — Dave Yost allowed ECOT and its corrupt executives to pay students to attend.
“This is yet another example of Yost putting his big money donors over regular Ohioans while they stole almost $200 million. It is the Auditor’s job to take a fine-toothed comb to ECOT’s books but I guess that doesn’t apply to an Auditor with dirty ECOT money burning a hole in his pocket.”
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.