Editorial: Lt. Governor Husted’s other job


A recent editorial by the Toledo Blade:

Jon Husted is taking state politics into groundbreaking new territory. It’s ground better left unbroken.

The lieutenant governor joined the Board of Directors of Columbus area-based Heartland Bank in March. The bank job is a paid position. His job with the state pays $176,000.

Mr. Husted won’t say how much the bank is paying him. The required paperwork revealing that isn’t due until after the November election. Taking the job isn’t a violation of state ethics laws. That is extraordinary and disturbing. Public officials in the executive branch shouldn’t be taking two paychecks, one from the taxpayers and another from a private entity.

This is a perfect example of the need to tighten up Ohio’s financial reporting and ethics laws for public officials.

While the job will increase Mr. Husted’s net worth it can only make voters increase their cynicism about the way the system works. Mr. Husted’s decision to join the bank board shows pathetic judgment and is tone deaf to the concerns of the people of Ohio. People are tired of politicians making their own rules.

Ohio’s weak ethics laws and financial reporting laws create an ethics-be-damned atmosphere in Columbus. Any elected official undertaking new private employment should be required to disclose their compensation immediately.

That the lieutenant governor thinks this is OK stinks. It’s not OK. It’s not that he plans to do anything wrong. It’s the appearance of impropriety.

It’s become commonplace in Columbus and Washington for public officials to spin through the revolving door into lucrative private sector opportunities after leaving office.

But Mr. Husted is the first in Ohio with the gall to do it while holding office. If this sort of thing continues, you can be sure Mr. Husted won’t be the last dual payroll Ohio lieutenant governor.

The lieutenant governor’s decision shows poor judgment. First, he should tell Ohioans what he’s being paid by the bank. Then he must decide whether he wants to serve the people or devote his time to private employment.

— Toledo Blade, May 28