Richard Myers, a Henry County commissioner, has been indicted for alleged misdeeds in connection with an economic development scheme that failed in late 2009 or early 2010.
Dave Yost, Ohio state auditor (R), announced Myers’ indictment in a press release last week.
Yost said Myers was indicted on one count of felony unlawful interest in a contract.
The indictment alleges Myers unlawfully caused $300,000 in public funds to be paid to an Indiana firm. In return, the firm was to move to Henry County and build a sports car there.
The car was to be unique, in that it would offer high horsepower, but get high fuel mileage.
It is alleged that Myers intermingled his personal funds in the deal, signed a note for repayment, and arranged for private investors, “all while acting in his offi cial capacity as a commissioner on matters related to the project,” the press release said.
Yost said the project collapsed when the State of Ohio refused to provide economic development funds to support the project.
In his press release, Yost said his assistant chief legal council, Robert Smith, is handling the prosecution of Myers because John Hanna, Henry County prosecuting attorney, is expected to be a witness in the case.
In addition to the state auditor office, officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Offi ce of the Inspector General participated in the investigation of Myers because of the involvement of federal development funding.
Myers is up for reelection for his seat as a Henry County commissioner in November.
A member of the Democratic Party, he faces a challenge from Glen A. Miller, a Republican.
“The people of Henry County want their $300,000 back, and who can blame them,” Yost said in his press release.
“It takes a special kind of arrogance to be this reckless with the taxpayer’s checkbook.”