Ohio AG's vetting of law firms undocumented

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Associated Press review finds that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's selection process for hiring outside securities-fraud litigators has gone essentially undocumented.

In state bid documents, DeWine laid out a process for appointing a committee that would vet and make recommendations on law firms seeking lucrative special-counsel assignments.

But a public records request by the AP turned up no written comments, scoring sheets, email exchanges on qualifications or recommendation reports indicating the panel did this work. The office says no such records exist.

DeWine's office has touted the transparency and rigor of the selection process amid election-year criticism that the system lacks adequate safeguards against being used as a political fundraising tool.

A spokeswoman says top staffers vetted the winning firms without regard for political donations then shared recommendations verbally.

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