Leadership at Ohio’s Department of Development has been amazingly volatile and plagued with scandal since John Kasich took over as Governor, which is pretty ironic since Kasich ran against Ted Strickland criticizing him for exactly the same thing.
Mark Kvamme was Kasich’s first pick to lead to Ohio Department of Development. But it was soon revealed that Kvamme was constitutionally ineligible to serve in that role, so Assistant Director Kristi Tanner ended up signing all the documents to prevent any problems when Kvamme eventually left.
Kvamme was replaced by James Leftwich, who lasted a whole 106 days before being replaced by Christiane Schmenk.
Kvamme took over at head of JobsOhio and Leftwich was hired back as a consultant for Kasich. Both quit their jobs the same week we reported that Leftwich was effectively selling access to Third Frontier and JobsOhio through his new consulting company.
Just yesterday, a spokesperson for the Development Services Agency refused to answer questions from reporters about $5.6 million in development grants to JobsOhio that circumvented the Ohio Legislature and the Controlling Board.
As the JobsOhio transparency scandal heats up, news is just coming in that Christiane Schmenk is now leaving Development.
Just like the surprise Kvamme departure, the Governor’s office claims the change in leadership right in the middle of a huge scandal was “in the works for months”.
We don’t buy it.
Schmenk will be replaced by Commerce Director Goodman. You may remember him as the guy who (pretended to) challenge the constitutionality of JobsOhio’s funding in order to force a ruling from the Supreme Court while avoiding a legal challenge from ProgressOhio.
Goodman and Kasich’s plan failed. But it looks like Goodman won enough good favor with the Governor to be promoted to bigger and better things.