Articles from Columbus Dispatch - Ohio

Best-paid state employee topped $600K for first time last year

The state of Ohio has its first $600,000 man.Taking advantage of special provisions in the union contract, psychiatrist Zinovi Goubar made more than $650,000 in 2018, including nearly $372,000 for overtime, a state payroll database obtained annually by The Dispatch shows. Goubar, paid about $110 an hour, earned $590,000 in 2017, and has now been Ohio’s highest-paid non-university state employee for nine straight years.In fact, 21 of the top 22 earners worked for the Ohio […]

Report: Trump tried to thwart Mueller probe, but aides - and law - saved him

WASHINGTON — In a report released Thursday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that while a sitting president cannot be indicted, President Donald Trump attempted to thwart the investigation into his 2016 campaign, but that aides repeatedly declined to carry out his orders.The 448-page report, which charged that Russia engaged in a “sweeping and systematic” effort to damage the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, reported that […]

Renacci used taxpayer-funded resources for campaigns, ethics probe finds

The Office of Congressional Ethics has found that former U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci improperly used the resources of his government office in his campaigns last year — even after ethics officials began questioning Renacci and his staff about the matter.Renacci, who first was a candidate for governor, switched to make an unsuccessful run against Sen. Sherrod Brown, an incumbent Democrat. The Office of Congressional Ethics is […]

Ohio reactions to Mueller report: Jim Jordan cites 'no collusion' finding but David Pepper says 'whitewash'

WASHINGTON — A long-awaited report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller raised questions about how President Donald Trump responded to allegations that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 elections but concluded that while a “sitting president” could not be indicted, it could not exactly clear his name.”If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so […]

New 'transparent' setup for Medicaid drug purchase will be secret to public

Medicaid managed-care provider CareSource last week announced that it had inked a new contract with pharmacy-benefit giant Express Scripts that CareSource said would bring groundbreaking transparency to Ohio’s billion-dollar Medicaid drug marketplace.But the contract itself is secret.That has some experts questioning whether there still will be room for […]

FirstEnergy Solutions warns of higher prices if nuke plants close

Warning that if their two nuclear plants in northern Ohio shut down over the next two years it will mean higher costs for all Ohio electricity users, FirstEnergy Solutions urged lawmakers Wednesday to approve legislation that would direct about $150 million per year to the company.Without a state bailout plan, FirstEnergy Solutions is set to shut down its Davis-Besse plant in May 2020, followed by the Perry plant in May 2021. The two plants directly employ more than 1,400 people. […]

Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman photographed by North Korean soldier at DMZ

As a North Korea soldier photographed him through a window, Sen. Rob Portman and a delegation of U.S. lawmakers visited the de-militarized zone Wednesday, which has separated South and North Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953.The Ohio Republican, who chatted with U.S. soldiers from Ohio at the 38th parallel dividing the two nations, later met in Seoul with a North Korean defector to hear more about North Korea’s “human rights abuses.”In a […]

DeWine, cabinet directors, hospital officials warn of dangers of youth vaping

In his state budget proposal, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is making a bid to raise the age from 18 to 21 to purchase tobacco and vaping products.However, warning parents of the dangers of teen-age children inhaling nicotine via vaping was the focus of a Wednesday news conference featuring the governor and two of his cabinet directors.Claiming candy- and fruit-flavored nicotine vaping liquids are marketed to capture and addict youth, DeWine said a dramatic increase in vaping among […]

GM PAC gives Ohio officials $11,000 as Lordstown plant closes

WASHINGTON — Ohio officials and lawmakers took $11,000 this year from the political action committee affiliated with General Motors as the automaker was shutting down its Lordstown plant and putting 1,400 people out of work.Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, Democrat U.S. Reps. Joyce Beatty and Marcia Fudge, Republican U.S. Reps. Anthony […]

Nuclear plant bailout debate kicks off at Statehouse

More than 30 minutes passed during Tuesday’s initial hearing on a plan to provide about $150 million a year to FirstEnergy Solutions before anyone mentioned the bankrupt company or its slated-to-close nuclear power plants in Ohio.Sponsors of House Bill 6 talked about lowering the carbon footprint in the state, reducing monthly costs for energy users and creating stability.“Let’s face it, the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency programs has been taken […]