BOE sends TARTA complaint to prosecutorWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A complaint filed against the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) and Citizens for TARTA has been forwarded to the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office.
Citizens for TARTA, a political action committee supporting TARTA’s levy, received $63,000 in loans from 2006 and 2008 from the transit authority to help fund the PAC. According to campaign finance reports, the loans have yet to be paid back.
Under the Ohio Revised Code, no public funds can be spent to support the passage of a levy.
Derek Merrin, the mayor of Waterville, filed a complaint with the Lucas County Board of Elections concerning the matter Jan. 12. Linda Howe, director of the BOE, confirmed she forwarded the matter via letter to the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office on Jan. 18.
Merrin said he filed the complaint because “TARTA blatantly violated state law.”
“TARTA has illegally funneled tax payer dollars to fund their levy. It’s an illegal scheme and tax payers are the victims,” he said.
Waterville is a TARTA member community.
Jim Gee, general manager for TARTA, said he could not comment on the complaint because he had not heard anything from the BOE or prosecutor’s office.
Gee noted that advice was sought from the Secretary of State’s office before making the loans and that the loans were more than a few years old.
“We’ve always had full and complete disclosure of the loan in annual audits and financial reports since they were given,” he said.
John Borell, a county prosecutor, was out of the office Feb. 11 and could not be reached for comment on the status of the case.