Records Review: AG Hiring Of Outside Counsel Undocumented

Jun 27, 2014

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Credit Ohio Attorney General's Office

An Associated Press review of state records shows Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's selection process for hiring outside securities-fraud litigators has gone essentially undocumented.

In state bid documents, DeWine lays out a process for appointing a committee that would vet and recommend law firms seeking lucrative special-counsel assignments. A public records request by the AP turned up no written comments, scoring sheets, email exchanges on qualifications or recommendation reports indicating the panel performed the work. The office says no such records exist. DeWine has touted the transparency and rigor of the selection process amid election-year criticism that the system lacks adequate safeguards against being used as a political fundraising tool. A spokesperson says top staffers vetted the winning firms without regard for political donations then shared recommendations verbally.