James Leftwich served as John Kasich’s third Development Director – taking over on March 28th, 2011 for now-JobsOhio President Mark Kvamme, who was constitutionally unable to serve. Leftwich made it 106 days before being replaced himself, stepping down to become “an informal economic development adviser to Gov. John Kasich”.
State salary records show Leftwich has been drawing a salary from the Ohio Department of Development non-stop since his appointment. He made $4,165 last pay period, which works out to nearly $110K per year, a drop from the $144K per year he made while serving as Director.
While it’s unclear how much actual advising Leftwich is doing for Kasich these days, it appears his OTHER employer, a private company named Viance Partners, is taking full advantage of Leftwich’s connections in Dayton.
Viance partners was registered with the state of Ohio in November 2011, shortly after Leftwich was removed as director, by Beverly Shillito, a Dayton-area lawyer who served with Leftwich on the Board of Trustees for the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC). Hugh Bolton, President and CEO of ATIC, also appears to be associated with the company, which has a business address in Kettering Ohio.
According to Business First, Leftwich has been working as a consultant for Wright State University through Viance Partners, assisting the school in setting up a system to help researchers commercialize their innovations.
While we applaud Wright State for their innovative thinking and approach, it does seem worth asking: why the hell is Jim Leftwich getting paid a six figure salary by the State of Ohio while he’s doing consulting work for a private company?
But there’s a bigger concern.
Since 2011, when Jim started working for the State, the Department of Development has awarded $368,156.71 in Grants and $3.5 Million in loans to Wright State University.
Many of these grants and loans may have been in the works prior to Leftwich’s arrival. And Leftwich may have had nothing to do with the approval. But it’s still worth asking: Is there any overlap between Jim’s consulting and his work at Development? Did Jim help push any of this funding through? Did the money help him and his company land the consulting gig with Wright State?
Also noteworthy: ATIC receives funding from the State of Ohio as well as the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), the local development organization that employed Leftwich (for an estimated $300K+/year) prior to his appointment by Kasich.
Have laws been broken here? Our research team is looking into it.
But the fact that Leftwich is being paid a six-figure salary working for the Ohio Department of Development WHILE working as a private consultant for a school that is receiving funding from the Department of Development should already raise some eyebrows.