Marion County GOP Chairman John Matthews was fired from his state job late Thursday following the release of an Investigation report from Ohio's "Office of the Inspector General".
On December 1, 2015, the Office of the Ohio Inspector General received an anonymous complaint alleging that Industrial Commission of Ohio (ICO) Director of Claims Support John Matthews “… spends his workday sleeping and fundraising for the Kasich campaign.” On December 11, 2015, the Office of the Ohio Inspector General forwarded this allegation to the ICO for an administrative review.
John Mathews has very close ties and loyalties to Gov Kasich and Ohio Republican Party Chairman Borges, and is rewarded as such. In 2011, Mathews was appointed as Director of ICO and a nice $105,000 a year job. In 2015, Matthews was named as a John Kasich Presidential Delegate, Matthews was later removed as a Kasich Delegate when it was discovered he was under investigation for his illegal activities at the ICO. Matthews is the Republican Party State Central Committee member for Ohio's District #26, and is also the Marion County Republican Party Executive County Chairman.
NOTE - We attempted to review John Mathews Facebook page, but found it has been taken down. The ICO page was also "Temporarily Out of Service"
The Investigators report (READ HERE) notes that Mathews cell phone records for the period October 1, 2015, through January 22, 2016, showed that Matthews received or made 541 phone calls and sent 1,220 text messages to individuals during his work hours that were:
- Republican candidates in Marion County
- Ohio 26th District Republican State Central Committee running for office in the 2015 general election and 2016 primary election.
- Past or present candidates for elected office affiliated with the Republican Party
- Officers, representatives, and office locations for the Marion County Republican Party
- Officers of the the Ohio Republican Party
- Officers of the Republican National Committee
- Organizations involved with political campaigns, or other politically related activities
The investigators report found that John Matthews spent over 40 hours of his workday on the phone conducting Marion County Republican Party business, and possibly coordinating activities with Ohio GOP Chairman Borges to oust conservative State GOP Central Committee Member Lisa Cooper (district 26).
Did Matthews and Borges coordinate the activities to oust conservative Lisa Cooper from the Ohio GOP while he was on the state payroll?
If you recall, a complaint was filed against Ms. Cooper at the Marion County Board of Elections (BOE) claiming her Candidate Petitions were not valid. At the subsequent BOE hearing, the vote was 3 to 2 that Cooper should remain on the Ballot. Interestingly, the two Republicans, who just happened to be appointed by Matthews voted that Cooper petitions were not valid and she should be removed. The two Democrats voted the petitions were valid. The tie was broken by Sec of State Husted when he issued a statement (READ HERE) and voted that Cooper petitions were valid, and she would remain on the ballot.
Did Marion County GOP Chairman John Matthews recruit, print, and coordinate this post card with Ohio GOP Chairman Borges while he was on the States clock. According to the Investigation Report, it looks like it.
Mathews and Borges made one more attempt to get rid of Ms Cooper by recruiting a candidate to run against her. Borges made Ohio GOP resources available to John Mathews to print and mail post cards that showed the Marion County GOP endorsed John Matthews and candidate Jude Foulk, and NOT incumbents Mathews and Cooper for the Ohio GOP State Central Committee seats.
It appears that rules don't mean anything to Ohio GOP leadership.
Although John Matthews was fired from a $105,000 a year job, We strongly suspect that the Ohio Republican party will find a well paying job in or among their ranks, and thank him for a job well done. Matthews should fit right in with the current Ohio GOP. Borges also ignores the rules when he used Ohio Republican Party money and resources to attack fellow Republicans, including Presidential candidate Donald Trump, during the 2016 Primary elections.