Ohio AG says more than $471M in debts collected

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's attorney general says his office has collected more than $471 million in debts owed to state and local government offices in a record year.

Attorney General Mike DeWine's office serves as the collections agent for all state government entities and public colleges. The office works to get full payment or develop a payment plan with the debtor. The total surpassed the 2013 fiscal year, which was roughly $465 million.

DeWine has recently taken heat from his Democratic challenger for his handling of lucrative collections contracts following a newspaper investigation.

The Dayton Daily News found that state bid documents were changed to favor a collections firm founded by a DeWine political ally over a seasoned collections company.

DeWine's spokesman has said the allegedly altered document was one judge's personal notes.

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