Finance Chairman Rep. Ryan Smith and Holzer Hospital
By Cyndy Rees
3rd Rail Politics has reported on Representative Ryan Smith's service on the board of Holzer Hospital as well as state budget amendments that financially benefited the hospital had they become law. Yesterday, we reported that Representative Smith's company, Hilliard Lyons also provided financial services for the hospital.
Representative Smith voted on a budget bill that included a $1.5 million amendment for Holzer. Smith could have invoked Rule 57 which specifies procedures for elected officials to abstain from participating in a vote should they believe they have a conflict of interest.
3rd Rail is now seeking information from the Ohio House regarding who drafted and introduced the amendments that would have profited Holzer.
The glaringly obvious question is - does Smith's firm, Hilliard Lions, continue to provide financial services for the hospital?
3rd Rail spoke with Legislative Inspector General Tony Bledsoe seeking information regarding any potential conflict of interest. Mr. Blesoe said, "Not specific to Ryan Smith, but the measure is whether or not it provides a direct benefit to the legislator."
Bledsoe also explained that none of the documents required by his office would capture the individual investments of an outside company.
3rd Rail also reached out to Representative Smith asking if his firm continued to provide financial services for Holzer Hospital but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
Mike Lenzo, Chief Legal Counsel
Ohio House of Representatives
77 South High Street, 14th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Re: Public Records Request
Dear Mr. Lenzo,
I am writing you pursuant to the Ohio Public Records Act, R.C. 149.43, to request copies of the following public records:
· Any and all amendments to House Bill 59 of the 130thOhio General Assembly that allocated state funds for the Holzer Hospital or Holzer Foundation;
· Any and all amendments to House Bill 64 of the 131thOhio General Assembly that allocated state funds for the Holzer Hospital or Holzer Foundation; and
· Any and all amendments to House Bill 49 of the 132ndOhio General Assembly that allocated state funds for the Holzer Hospital or Holzer Foundation;
I request that the above described records be sent to me in electronic form, via email, to the following address: email@example.com. According to Ohio Public Records law, responsive records should be provided within a reasonable time, which we interpret to be seven days. If it will take more than a week to respond, please contact me at this email and notify me when the records will be ready as soon as possible.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information in order to expedite disclosure of the public records described herein.
Thank you. Cyndy Rees, Editor 3rd Rail Politics