Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel has missed 14 Board of Deposit meetings since taking office in January 2011, Watchdog10’s Paul Aker reported Wednesday.
Until Monday, Mandel had missed every one of the committee meetings, of which he acts as chair.
Mandel sent employees to attend the meetings in his absence, Aker reported.
“One of the things I learned in the Marine Corps is the value of empowering leaders,” Mandel told Watchdog10. “And in this office, I conduct a lot of duties on my own. And we also empower a lot of our staff to do the same.”
Mandel said that he decided to attend his first meeting Monday because it was the first time in the past two years that the state made a major decision about which banks were going to hold billions of dollars in state funds.
His attendance also came the same week the Associated Press reported that Mandel, also a Senate candidate, had missed all of the previous meetings, Aker reported.
During the Jan. 26 Board of Deposit meetings Mandel missed, he attended a breakfast fundraiser that charged up to $2,000 a ticket in Washington D.C.
“Nothing is more irritating than when public officials miss public (meetings) to raise money,” said Ohio Citizen Action’s Catherine Turcer.
Turcer said that Mandel’s attendance record was unacceptable.
“The problem is, half of doing a job right is showing up,” Turcer said.
Watchdog10 uncovered that previous treasurer Kevin Boyce attended 11 of 24 meetings, and Richard Cordray only missed one.
“We do need to understand that our treasurer does not need to come to every meeting, but never attending or just coming to one to make a big show after you’ve been so heavily criticized is a problem,” Turcer said.
Mandel said that taxpayers could look at the treasurer’s office to see its effectiveness.
“I believe the taxpayers can look at the treasurer’s office right here in our state and know we are running one of the most effective and efficient state treasurer’s offices in the United States of America,” Mandel said.
Mandel said that since he has taken office, he has made decisions that have improved the state’s investments and is now saving money on unnecessary banking fees.
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