An Ohio Republican Party (ORP) Central Committeeman sent an email to party associates on Monday calling on ORP Chairman Bob Paduchik and Treasurer David Johnson to resign.
Mark Bainbridge, an accountant who represents ORP’s State Central Committee District 16 and who has led the committee’s reform caucus, wrote that the state party has suffered a decline in net worth that is “shrouded in secrecy.” Specifically, he stated, ORP reported a net gain of $147,259 through 2021 when it allegedly should have reported a loss of $162,088. He concluded that $309,347 in net expenses are absent from the organization’s profit and loss statement and that ORP had equity totaling $2,568,530 at the end of 2021 compared with $2,730,618 at the end of 2020.
Members of the Ohio Republican Party’s Central Committee, who have been punished for demanding more transparency and accountability, shared with The Ohio Star their thoughts on Friday’s meeting, which ended suddenly with items still on the agenda.
Party Chairman Robert A. Paduchik had gaveled the meeting in recess until two Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies cleared out everyone from the sitting in the two dozen chairs set up in the public gallery and the people standing, who crowded the roped-off space in the back of the room.
Two of the five resolutions on the agenda were left to consider when Paduchik and his allies quickly ended the recess and adjourned the meeting on a voice vote.
A band of five members of the Ohio Republican Party’s Central Committee filed suit against the Ohio Republican Party, Party Chairman Robert A. Paduchik and Party Treasurer David W. Johnson November 29 at the Franklin County Courthouse petitioning for the court to grant their four requests:
– An injunction against Paduchik and or a temporary restraining order stopping him from reassigning members of the party’s Central Committee from their subcommittees or otherwise reorganizing the Central Committee outside the process set out in the party rules;
– Production and recovery of financial documents for a court-ordered forensic audit of the party’s books going back to the party’s fiscal year 2017, or going back as far as necessary to track down impropriety and illegality;
– Accountability and transparency sufficient to make auditable books and records that the petitioners claim has not been accomplished in 12 years, leaving the party with entirely corrupted and un-audited financial records; and
– The party’s adoption of the necessary management and officer accountability and an investigation towards the recovery of funds illegally transferred or converted from the party.
Sept. 10 meeting of the Ohio Republican Party’s State Central Committee offers the first opportunity for reform-minded members to press their agenda for changes in the governance and policies of the GOP ahead of the 2022 election for five statewide officeholders and the congressional mid-terms.
Whether the voices for reform first heard in a series of stories The Ohio Star published in late July and early August carry the day at the meeting depends upon the willingness of central committee members on the sideline to consider whether to follow the bylaws of the organization representing nearly 2 million Ohio voters registered as Republicans or falling in line behind GOP Chairman Bob Paduchik.
Reform-minded members of the Ohio Republican Party’s State Central Committee held a press conference outside the Governor’s Mansion east of downtown Columbus on Tuesday to push for ending endorsements in primary races and unchecked financial support of incumbent officeholders.