Chief Justice Kennedy Promises ‘A New Day’ at the Ohio Supreme Court

Taking her ceremonial oath of office on Wednesday, Ohio’s new Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Kennedy promised “a new day” at the high court and could cast the deciding vote on crucial topics in the state like abortion and redistricting.

Kennedy, who becomes the second female justice to preside over the state’s highest court, said she didn’t initially picture the moment.

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Fairfield County Judge Denies State Request to Stop Columbus Gun Restrictions

Ohio’s plea for a preliminary injunction to stop the city of Columbus’ most recent gun control measures was denied by a court in Fairfield County. According to Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, the restrictions are now in place as of midnight on January 21st.

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Ohio Attorney General Sues Fake Home Warranty Company After over 1,200 Consumer Complaints

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is suing a “home warranty” firm and its administrator due to misleading and unethical business tactics.

Since 2018, more than 1,200 consumers combined have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office about Amazon Home Warranty, a Wyoming company based in New Jersey that uses a Columbus customer-service address, and Amazon Warranty Administrators, which lists a Dublin address but is not, as required by state law, registered with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

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Republican State Senator Matt Dolan Announces Run for U.S. Senate

Republican State Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) has announced he’s running for U.S. Senate against Ohio Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in 2024.

“I am unapologetically committed to putting the needs of Ohio first and delivering results as our next U.S. Senator. With the courage of my convictions, clarity of purpose, and a resolute focus on the challenges and opportunities facing our beloved state, I am ready to lead,” Dolan said in a statement.

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Ohio Attorney General Briefly Retires to Seek Pension

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s decision to briefly “retire” prior to taking the oath for a second term in the same position has renewed discussion among public officials over pension “double dipping.”

The practice of retiring in order to trigger the collection of a pension while simultaneously drawing a public paycheck is legal.

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Agents Seize Record Amount of Methamphetamine During Columbus Investigation

In what the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is describing as one of their biggest arrests in years, authorities recovered eight pounds of methamphetamine from a Columbus apartment and detained two people.

DEA agents in collaboration with officers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol raided the Columbus apartment on Wednesday. Inside, more meth was discovered than the DEA had ever found in a single arrest in Central Ohio. 

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Ohio Attorney General Asks Supreme Court to Lift Order Blocking ‘Heartbeat Law’

Attorney General Dave Yost is requesting that the Ohio Supreme Court reinstates the heartbeat law as readily as possible, which blocks the majority of abortions once a fetal heartbeat is found.

In accordance with the 2019 Ohio law, doctors are not permitted to perform abortions once heart activity has been identified, or around six weeks into a pregnancy. The law went into effect the same day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24th, 2022.

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Ohio Republican Party Passes Resolution Rejecting Expansion of Title IX

The Republican State Central and Executive Committee of Ohio passed a resolution during their January meeting to reject proposed changes to broaden the definition of sex-based harassment and discrimination to include gender identity and sexual orientation for LGBTQ students.

The committee resoundingly passed the resolution to “support parents, schools, and districts in rejecting harmful, coercive, and burdensome gender identity policies and to protect federal funding subject to Title IX.”

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Ohio Attorney General Updates Statewide Sex Offender Registry Technology

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Monday that all 88 county sheriffs in the state received new cameras to improve the routine registration procedure for convicted sexual offenders.

“Ohio’s sex offender registration system plays a critical role in holding convicted offenders accountable, and in the hands of our county sheriffs, these tools ensure that photographs are clear and uniform across the state. Our job is to support local law enforcement, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this grant,” Yost said.

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Ohio Attorney General Ties Nonprofit Grant Money to Completion of Charitable University

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Wednesday, the completion of Charitable University, also known as CharitableU, is now mandatory for nonprofits who want to seek grant money from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to promote organizations to be fraud-free this year.

According to Yost, CharitableU is a new training and accountability tool for Ohio charity organizations. The program ensures that they run their companies properly and prevent the squandering of crucial donations due to incompetence, carelessness, or fraud.

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Drug Interdiction Task Force Confiscates Millions in Narcotics During 2022

In 2022 alone, the law enforcement task forces established under the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC) seized illicit substances worth more than $64 million. Attorney General Dave Yost claims that eliminating Ohio’s drug trafficking industry will inevitably save lives.

Outside of narcotics, Ohio task forces also seized 437 firearms and $7.7 million in currency last year. With the 2022 figures, the total amount of contraband seized by the task force during Yost’s first term is $239.9 million in drugs, 1,374 guns, and $56 million in cash.

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Ohio Attorney General Says 22,000 Seized Fentanyl Pills Is Proof U.S. Needs a Stronger Southern Border

Approximately 22,000 fentanyl pills and nearly 42 pounds of suspected fentanyl seized in a drug bust by the Central Ohio Major Drug Interdiction/HIDTA Task Force is proof we need a stronger southern border according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

The task force, created under the state attorney general’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission and led by the Columbus Police division intercepted the smuggling of the illegal drugs this week.

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Ohio Bill to Codify Solicitor General’s Office Proceeds to Governor

A Republican-supported bill to codify the Tenth Amendment Center in the Ohio Solicitor General’s Office heads to Governor Mike DeWine’s office for signature.

House Bill (HB) 506 sponsored by state Representatives Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Township) and Adam Bird (R-New Richmond) creates a Tenth Amendment center to “actively monitor federal executive orders, federal statutes, and federal regulations for potential abuse or overreach, including assertion of power inconsistent with the United States Constitution.”

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Ohio General Assembly Approves Bill Requiring Testing of Rape Kits from Human Trafficking Victims

The General Assembly approved a Republican-backed bill aimed to require governmental evidence-retention entities to test rape kits when investigating human trafficking cases through the criminal justice reform package that passed last week.

House Bill (HB) 390 sponsored by state Representatives Marilyn John (R-Shelby) and Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) applies to the current state law for preserving and cataloging evidence of sexual assault examination (SAE) kits for victims and survivors of human trafficking.

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Ohio Judge Blocks Columbus From Enforcing Gun Laws

A judge in Fairfield County granted Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s request for a temporary restraining order temporarily stopping Columbus’ new restrictive gun laws from going into effect for 14 days.

Judge Richard Berens issued the ruling Thursday morning, immediately enjoining the ordinances.

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Ohio Board of Education Approves Resolution to Reject LGBTQ Additions to Title IX

The Ohio Board of Education passed a resolution Tuesday that rejects proposed changes to broaden the definition of sex-based harassment and discrimination to include gender identity and sexual orientation for LGBTQ students.

In a 10-7 vote, board members passed the resolution to “support parents, schools, and districts in rejecting harmful, coercive, and burdensome gender identity policies and to protect federal funding subject to Title IX.”

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Unanimously Elected President of National Association of Attorneys General

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) elected Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost as president for the year 2023.

The association voted unanimously to elect Yost during the NAAG Capital Forum in Washington.

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Landmark Court Date Set for Google in Ohio

Ohio has a court date for the first-of-its-kind lawsuit against Google.

Delaware County Common Pleas Court set May 14 as the date Attorney General Dave Yost begins his case against the internet search giant in an effort to have it declared a common carrier and subject to government regulation.

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Proposed Ohio Amendment to End Qualified Immunity for Some Government Officials Rejected

A plan to change Ohio law to stop qualified immunity for local government workers hit a snag when a summary of the proposal was rejected by Attorney General Dave Yost.

Yost rejected the summary from a citizens group that wants a new constitutional amendment that would remove qualified immunity for employees of political subdivisions for injury, death or loss of person or property caused by an act or omission from a government employee during their job.

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Ohio Lawmakers Look to Increase Penalties for Strangulation from a Misdemeanor to a Felony

Ohio lawmakers are working to pass a law that would help protect domestic violence survivors and make strangulation a felony in the state. 

Senate Bill 90 introduced by co-sponsors State Senators Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) and Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), aims to prohibit impeding breathing or circulation of family members.

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Ohio Supreme Court Dismisses Case on Governor DeWine’s Halt to Additional COVID Unemployment Benefits

The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously dismissed a case on if Governor Mike DeWine had the authority to cut off an extra $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits.

Justices dismissed the case as “moot.” Without a court order requiring the federal government to keep these additional unemployment benefits, it was unclear if the money still existed.

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Ohio Senate Republicans Aim to Clarify Women’s Health Exemptions on Six-Week Abortion Ban

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said after feedback from medical professionals, Republicans in the Ohio Senate are working to clarify language on the six-week limits on  abortion.

According to Huffman, they are working to clarify definitions regarding the health and life of the mother. The new limit known as the “heartbeat bill,” prohibits most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is at about six weeks of pregnancy.

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Ohio Right to Life Files Complaint to State Medical Board

A complaint has been filed with the State Medical Board of Ohio over a patient who was reportedly denied proper health care while experiencing a miscarriage.

Medical professionals at an Ohio hospital had reportedly cited the state’s abortion laws for delaying health care. However, Ohio law does not prevent doctors from taking action when a patient’s life or health is at risk.

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Ohio Voters Will Decide Bail Reform

Ohio voters will decide in November on a bail reform measure that could move the state toward cash bail and requires judges to consider public safety when setting bail provisions.

Attorney General Dave Yost praised the passage of House Joint Resolution 2 and Senate Joint Resolution 5 as issues that came in response to an Ohio Supreme Court decision upholding an appeals court ruling that public safety cannot be considered when determining bail.

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Ohio Attorney General Silent After Texas, Others Leave NAAG

After the top attorneys in Texas, Montana and Missouri announced that they would be leaving the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), Ohio appears poised to remain part of the group.

“The attorneys general of Texas, Missouri and Montana have decided to withdraw our states’ membership from NAAG,” said a letter penned by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R).

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Ohio Attorney General’s Office Warns of New Deadly Synthetic Drug

Ohio’s top attorney this week is warning residents of a new class of designer drugs that are more deadly than fentanyl. 

“Frankenstein opioids are even more lethal than the drugs already responsible for so many overdose deaths,” Attorney General Dave Yost said in a press release. “Law enforcement and the public need to pay attention to these emerging hazards.” 

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Governor DeWine Launches $10 Million Initiative to Address Gun Violence in Ohio

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, in connection with Attorney General Dave Yost and State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Richard Fambro, announced a new initiative to address gun violence-related crimes.

The state will give $10.5 million to the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) to improve access to key technology for law enforcement throughout the state.

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Ohio Police Officer Killed While Attempting to Stop Fleeing Vehicle

An Ohio police officer was killed on Thursday after being struck by a fleeing vehicle that he was attempting to stop.

Officer Dominic Francis of the Bluffton Police Department was trying to place spike strips to stop the driver when he was hit by the vehicle around 3 a.m.

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Cleveland Police Officer Cleared in Shooting of Wanted Alleged Murderer

Cleveland, Ohio, Police car

A Cleveland Police officer was cleared by a grand jury earlier this week after it determined that he acted lawfully in self-defense in the shooting death of an alleged murderer last year. 

“The grand jury ruled that the officer acted properly based on its review of a thorough, independent investigation,” Attorney General Dave Yost (R) said in a press release. “The goal is always to find the truth.”

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Eight Individuals Arrested in Ohio Anti-Human Trafficking Operation

Eight individuals were arrested for attempting to buy sex during an anti-human trafficking operation that took place in the northeastern region of the state, according to Attorney General Dave Yost.

The mission, Operation Fouled Out, involved the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission and focused on Cleveland, leading up to the National Basketball Association’s All-Star Game.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost to Hold Forum on Elder Abuse After Esther’s Law Passed

Attorney General Dave Yost (R) is holding a series of forums to spread awareness about elder abuse in the state. 

In a press release announcing the next event in the series of forums, called  “Responding to Financial Exploitation, Scams and Fraud in Facility Settings,” Yost told the following story of an Ohio senior who was bilked out of his own money:

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Ohio Attorney General Loses Motion to Relegate Democrats to ‘Friend’ Status in Redistricting Lawsuit

Senator Vernon Sykes and Allison Russo

The Ohio Supreme Court agreed with two Democrats on the Ohio Redistricting Commission and denied a motion from Attorney General Dave Yost to relegate the two to “friend of the court” status in ongoing legal challenges to new state legislative districts.

Commission co-chair Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, and House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, called Yost’s motion an attempt to silence the two, who had voted against the original maps and ones reconfigured by order of the court.

“I am relieved to see that a fair process is continuing in the courts,” Russo said. “We spoke up for the people against unconstitutional maps, while the Attorney General tried to silence us. AG Yost should not have tried to put his thumb on the scale in this process. Now, we wait the court’s decision on the submitted maps and let the process play out with greater transparency.”

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Ohio AG Joins Another Lawsuit to Stop Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost kept pressure on the Biden administration this week by joining a lawsuit challenging the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care employees.

Yost signed onto a federal lawsuit filed in Louisiana that wants the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ mandate declared illegal. Yost said the mandate affects about 17 million people across the country working full- and part-time jobs at hospitals, nursing facilities, hospices and home health agencies.

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Ohio Joins Lawsuit Fighting Illegal Immigration

Ohio has joined a federal lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s new federal immigration policy, which Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said stops nearly all deportations and handcuffs U.S. immigration officers.

Yost and attorneys general in Arizona and Montana want to stop the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law, which is scheduled to take effect Nov. 29. The lawsuit called the guidelines irrational and said they likely will increase a border crisis.

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States Sue Biden for Sweeping Limits on Deportation of Illegal Aliens, Including Convicted Criminals

The attorneys general of Arizona, Montana and Ohio filed suit against the Biden administration Thursday to block an order by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that would effectively halt deportations of illegal aliens — including those convicted of crimes.

Attorneys General Mark Brnovich, Austin Knudsen, and Dave Yost sued President Joe Biden, Mayorkas, acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Troy Miller, acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tae Johnson, and Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ur Jaddou in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

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Columbus School Teacher Arrested for Alleged Sex-Trafficking Bust

A school teacher from Columbus has been arrested for allegedly paying to have sex with a teen whom police suspect was a victim of human trafficking. 

“Robert Pea, 60, of Columbus, was arrested Wednesday morning and is charged with one count of compelling prostitution,” according to reports. “The Northland High School teacher is accused of contacting a 16-year-old girl through an online advertisement to have sex at a hotel in Reynoldsburg.”

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Ohio Board of Education Drops Critical Race Theory Resolution

The Ohio Board of Education (BOE) this week dropped its Critical Race Theory (CRT) resolution that activists described as “anti-racist,” and critics described as “divisive.”

According to The Columbus Dispatch, it has been replaced with a new resolution that condemns any curricula that “seeks to divide.”  

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Announces Sentencing of School Administrator Who Stole $150,000

After being convicted for stealing $150,000 from P.A.T.H. School for Autism, Inc. and the P.A.T.H. Academy for Autism, Ltd., the former executive director of those nonprofit organizations, which are partly responsible for administering Ohio’s curricula for children with autism, has been sentenced to 90 days in jail. 

“Bonnie Kimpling, 53, of Chicago, was sentenced for one count of Aggravated Theft, a third-degree felony, in Williams County Common Pleas Court. In addition to jail time, she was sentenced to five years of community control, fined $2,500 and ordered to pay approx. $32,269 in restitution,” Attorney General Dave Yost’s office said in press release. 

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U.S. Senate Candidate Vance Signs onto Ohio’s Big Tech Lawsuit

An Ohio U.S. Senate candidate and attorney has signed onto a lawsuit in support of the state’s bid to regulate Google like a public utility. 

JD Vance is part of the Claremont Institute, which filed an amicus brief supporting Attorney General Dave Yost’s June lawsuit against the Silicon Valley giant. 

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Ohio Attorney General, Others File Brief in Support of Georgia’s New Election Laws

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is leading 15 other state attorneys general in backing Georgia’s effort to dismiss a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new voter laws.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Georgia, Georgia’s secretary of state and other election officials in June, saying several provisions of the state’s recent voting reform law blocks the right to vote for Georgians based on race.

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Ohio AG Announces ‘Drug Dropoff Day’ to Combat Opioid Use

In response to a “surge” in opioid overdoses in Ohio in 2020, Attorney General Dave Yost Friday announced the state’s first “Drug Dropoff Day.”

“You know, a lot of opioid addictions actually start out of the family medicine cabinet,” Yost said in a video posted to his Twitter account. 

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Attorney General Believes Ohio’s Vaccination Raffle is Legal as Lawmakers Question Use of Taxpayer Money

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s plan to encourage more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine by offering millions of taxpayer dollars and college scholarships through a raffle program appears to be legal, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said.

Yost tweeted the opinion, but he stopped short of saying he believed DeWine’s plan was a was a good idea.

“About the $1M [vaccination] lottery: I heard about it yesterday. It doesn’t appear to violate state law, though it depends on how it’s designed,” Yost’s tweet read. “Just because a thing may be legally done does not mean it should be. The wisdom of it is a question for the Governor and the General Assembly.”

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Ohio State Representative’s Beef with Governor DeWine Now Includes Attorney General Yost

On Monday Ohio State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County) filed a motion with the Ohio Twelfth District Court of Appeals to strike down a brief Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed with the court.

AG Yost filed the amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of Clermont County Prosecutor D. Vincent Faris who Becker is attempting to make investigate charges Becker made against Ohio’s governor.

Becker and Faris ended up in the district appellate court after Becker filed a Private Citizen Affidavit (PCA) on September 28 in Clermont County.  As The Ohio Star reported, in the PCA  Becker alleged Ohio Governor DeWine committed 7 felonies and 3 misdemeanors as a result of his managing the state’s  COVID response.

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Ohio Crime Victims Expected to Get Help From Grants

Ohio crime victims are expected to receive additional support from groups around the state, according to Attorney General Dave Yost, who plans to award nearly $59 million in grants to groups that provide direct assistance.

Yost announced the anticipated grants, which include $13 million to help children. He expects $55 million to come from the Victims of Crime Act and another $3.5 million from the State Victim Assistance Act fund.

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Dave Yost Says Ohio State University Should Sue Big 10 If Conference Refuses to Play Football

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in an interview with Fox Radio that if the Big 10 refuses to change its stance on college football, Ohio State University (OSU) should sue.

Yost said that “it seems crazy,” that with so many other sports, including high school and amateur football being played that OSU will not be able to have a season.

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Making JobsOhio Transparent Is Like Making Sausage: It’s Not Pretty

JobsOhio has operated as a privatized, independent economic development agency for the State of Ohio since 2011. In all that time, a few concerned officials have tried to peel back the curtain obscuring its inner workings, too little success.

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Ohio Attorney General’s Office Grants Provide $345K to More Than 60 Police Departments to Buy Body Armor

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has awarded more than $345,000 in grants to more than 60 local police departments over the last three months to purchase body armor vests for their officers.

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AG Yost Tells OptumRx ‘We’ll See You in Court’ for Overbilling the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Millions

Attorney General Dave Yost announced Monday he amended his lawsuit filed against pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) OptumRx, claiming the PBM excessively charged the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation for generic drugs. The overcharge totaled nearly $16 million. It is now “significantly more.”

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