Five members of the Ohio Republican Party’s Central Committee filed a lawsuit against the Ohio GOP, Party Chairman Robert A. Paduchik and Party Treasurer David W. Johnson on Monday, citing a missing $3 million.
As reported by the Ohio Star, the plaintiffs are seeking the court to grant their four requests:
- An injunction against Paduchik and/or a temporary restraining order stopping him from reassigning members of the party’s Central Committee from their subcommittees or reorganizing the Committee outside the process set out in the party rules
- Production and recovery of financial documents for a court-ordered forensic audit of the party’s books going back to 2017 or as far back as necessary
- Accountability and transparency enough to make auditable books and records that the petitioners claim has not been done in 12 years, leaving the party with corrupted financial records
- Party adoption of the necessary management and officer accountability and an investigation towards the recovery of funds illegally transferred or converted from the party
The five plaintiffs - Mark Bainbridge, JoAnn Campbell, Joe Miller, Denise Verdi and Laura Rosenberger - said they were all ordered off their subcommittee assignments by Paduchik after they attempted to investigate the party’s financial records.
“In violation of party bylaws, all five plaintiffs were removed from their respective ORP subcommittee positions by Paduchik in recent months, as a result of retaliation for questioning his failed leadership and financial mismanagement,” according to the lawsuit filing. The suit also asked the court to reinstate the plaintiffs to their subcommittee assignments.
The lawsuit claims include $1.7 million that disappeared in 2017, $437,000 that disappeared in 2019 and $638,000 listed in Accounts Receivable in 2017 and 2018 but written off in 2021.
An additional $271,000 was also unaccounted for in 2021.
“As proud Republicans who believe in fiscal conservatism, we won’t rest until Robert Paduchik, and his enablers answer for their utter ineptitude and abandon the positions of power they never should’ve had,” Rosenberger said. “The millions of Republicans across our state deserve accountability, and we are demanding it on their behalf. The Ohio Republican Party needs to be saved from within.”