Digging into Ohio's Pile of Corruption

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These kids are probably the only people in Ohio Marc Dann is not currently investigating
Marc Dann's still got a few weeks before he succeeds The Laziest Man in Law Enforcement, Jim Petro, as Ohio's attorney general. But his to-do list for corruption investigations keeps getting longer. He says finding who gave Tom Noe $50 million in injured workers' money tops the list. He wants to explore whether politically-connected companies got to skate on their workers comp premiums. After that, he's pledged a smackdown on predatory lenders, who for years bought protection from the legislature and guys like Petro. Then he'll be investigating all the big-dollar contracts state agencies mysteriously gave to the same politically connected guys. ["Imagine...," December 13]. Now he has a new problem at hand: $42 million in possible Medicaid fraud. Auditor Betty Montgomery's office released a report Tuesday -- safely after the November elections -- identifying "potential overpayments" in the $13 billion program, which consumes more than 40 percent of Ohio's budget each year. And the stiffs are only Dann's second-biggest problem — skimming from hospital stays cost us $11.5 million. Billing overlaps between nursing homes, doctors and hospitals were good for another $8 million. None of those dollars were among the paltry $4 million Montgomery's report deemed "recoupable." The Department of Job & Family Services is expected to pursue the honest mistakes, but this being Ohio, honesty is expected to account for 3 percent of looting. "If fraud exists," says Dann, "I will find it." -- Jason Nedley
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