n IOctober, the 1851 Center filed an action under the Ohio Corrupt Activities Act (Ohio RICO) to stop costly union-friendly public school building projects that result from a pattern of bribery and intimidation originating from Ohio School Facilities Commission Director Richard Murray, Governor Strickland, and powerful labor union interests, and filter down to the local level.
The complaint charges labor unions and Murray used bribery, intimidation, and obstruction of justice to further union financial interests, through projects funded by the OSFC, while the Strickland administration aided and abetted the conduct for its own political gain. The lawsuit seeks to prohibit future distribution of state tax dollars by the OSFC to fund union-friendly "Project Labor Agreements" (PLAs) and prevailing wage-only projects.
The complaint also details how Murray orchestrated secret meetings between labor union leaders and school superintendents. At the meetings, unions offered political support in facilitating passage of local school district tax levies for building school buildings in exchange for the superintendents' promises to use expensive union-only labor when later building those schools.
"It certainly appears as though union influence over the Strickland administration caused the firing of the prior OSFC director, and the hiring of Murray, with either the instructions or the implicit understanding that Murray would run rough-shod over taxpayers and school districts to benefit union allies," said 1851 Center Executive Director Maurice Thompson. "School districts are making construction decisions within this troublesome framework. This suit aims to clean up the process before additional tax dollars are wasted."
This fall, organized labor union interests in the construction industry have contributed $582,000 to Strickland's re-election and $463,000 to the Ohio Democratic Party.
Construction union contributions to help pass local school building levies are public records, and are available at your county board of elections.
Read the complaint here.
To quote a frenchie: "I am shocked...shocked..to find gambling going on in this establishment!"
Strickland and his administration have long been about payoffs for votes, from teacher unions to construction unions to allowing criminals to work in the mansion and peddle drugs under the governor's nose.