Rep. Kris Jordan (D-Delaware) sent a letter this week to Inspector General Thomas Charles, urging him to follow up on his recent investigation of the Ohio School Facilities Commission with another look at the commission’s furniture procurement practices.
Charles recently completed an investigation of commission Executive Director Richard Murray’s relationship with unions, in it accusing Murray of harboring a pro-union bias.
Jordan said he was suspicious that some designers and architects might be using what he referred to as “spec-in backward,” which entails establishing furniture specifications that make it impossible for all but one vendor to win the contract, thus eliminating competition. He said he has concerns about bids in the Hubbard, Elyria, Akron and Liberty Union school districts.
“In light of your recent report, Richard Murray’s refusal to resign and Gov. Strickland’s refusal to remove him, I believe this issue should be examined in greater detail to ensure there are no other questionable practices by the commission or its director,” Jordan wrote. “I do not want cronyism to become the norm by which the state conducts its business.”