10 Investigates: Watchdog Calls for Audit of Auditor

Published: .
Updated: .

A member of the government accountability group, Common Cause Ohio, wants outside investigators to look into a deal inked by Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo.

"This clearly needs to be investigated," Common Cause's Catherine Turcer said.

Turcer is referring to information reported by 10 Investigates about Mingo approving a contract for $135,000 to his chief of staff after she claimed Mingo was responsible for sexual harassment.

Mingo removed Jerzell Pierre-Louis from her position as Chief of Staff in January, 2013. Shortly after that, her attorney sent Mingo a letter that made detailed allegations of sexual harassment in the office. Pierre-Louis demanded approximately $150,000 "in exchange" for ending her allegations.

Pierre-Louis later partially recanted her allegation. Two weeks later she signed a contract with the Auditor's office for $135,000 in consulting work.

"It suggests that was a payoff," Turcer said.

Mingo has denied allegations of a payoff. He says the work was proper and beneficial to his office.

"You had the advent of these rumors that was in this letter. That was resolved," Mingo said. "And (we) were able to resume a working relationship. That's all that's here."

Turcer would like state investigators to determine if Mingo's version is true.

She said if it is determined something improper happened, Mingo "should clearly be out."