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Put-in-Bay Investigation Near Completion

Suppose you read the mainstream press, i.e., the Sandusky Register. In that case, you already know that the investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing by the Village of Put-in-Bay is wrapping up, with the possibility of the case coming to a resolution in July. This is according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

All the witnesses have been interviewed, and investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service are finalizing their investigation into corruption claims made against the village. Readers will remember that Village offices, plus the offices of Mayor Mack McCann, then Village Solicitor George Wilber, and island businessman Todd Blumensaadt were raided last September by officers from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation after more than one person met with the Ottawa County prosecutor more than a year ago voicing their concerns about possible criminal activity.

According to investigators, more than 50,000 documents had to be reviewed. Numerous people were interviewed, but investigators are mum
when it comes to naming them all. When the case is finalized, it will be sent to a prosecutor in the Attorney General’s office, Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten, and the Ohio Ethics Commission to review possible charges.

It is estimated this will take several weeks. The ongoing investigation is similar to the Mueller investigation in the nation’s capital. Everyone is anxious to see what the results will be. Our local investigation started a year ago, and it only involves a fraction of the people that the one in Washington does.

The Village was audited by state officials last year. Their report showed a few clerical issues but noted no potential criminal problems. Village officials have also requested a special audit for 2017 and the first six months of 2018. This was done in light of the recent termination of the Village fiscal officer and not because of any suspected criminal issues related to this investigation. The audit has not yet begun.

Unfortunately, the investigation has brought a lot of negative attention to the island, so the sooner it is resolved, the sooner things can return to normal. Mayor McCann has reportedly said the investigation is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

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