Ohio Candidate May Face Ethics Probe Over Contract Corruption Allegations

The race serves as a bit of a microcosm for internal struggles in the Democratic Party. It is now being shaken up by corruption allegations.

Source : Wikimedia Commons and Cuyahoga County Planning Commission

July 27, 2021

Author : Alex Bustillos

The Democratic primary race for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District has been heating up for some time now, but a recent report is bound to turn the heat up yet another notch. The two candidates — Nina Turner and Shontel Brown — represent the two main factions within the Democratic Party: for lack of a better term, the progressive “squad,” and the establishment.

Turner was a longtime ally of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and served in prominent positions in both his 2016 and 2020 campaigns. Brown is a former Councilmember in Cuyahoga County and has been endorsed by both Hillary Clinton and the third most powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives, Jim Clyburn, who is considered somewhat of a kingmaker in terms of the African American vote.

Brown’s partner, Mark Perkins, has longstanding ties to a general contracting company called Perk, which was co-founded by his uncle, The Intercept reported in April. Despite vowing to recuse herself from county contracts involving Perk “as necessary,” Brown voted repeatedly to give the firm large contracts.

As The Intercept notes, Brown “has approved more than $17 million to Perk and has received $13,000 in campaign donations from the Perkins family and Perk’s current owners, the Cifani family.”

On Tuesday, this controversy was renewed when The Daily Poster’s David Sirota reported that emails reviewed by his publication reveal that the Ohio state auditor’s office reviewed The Intercept’s article and referred the issue to the state ethics commission.

As Newsweek notes, in Ohio, public officials are barred from using their authority to secure contracts for family members or on matters where their business associates have an interest, and doing so is considered a felony punishable by imprisonment.

It remains to be seen how exactly all this will play out and whether Brown will be investigated by the state ethics commission. But with only one week left until the election, the news today is sure to shake things up in the Ohio district.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons and Cuyahoga County Planning Commission.

Category : Contractor Trades Local Government Public Works

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