Space Statement on ECOT's Illegal Use of Taxpayer Funds

COLUMBUS -- Former U.S. Congressman Zack Space, candidate for Ohio Auditor of State, released the following statement Monday afternoon in light of the Columbus Dispatch’s report that the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) spent public monies on political advertisements.

“With each passing week, Ohioans are treated to ever more disgraceful details about ECOT’s scam to defraud taxpayers. Last week the Toledo Blade reported that ECOT attempted to use taxpayer funds as hush money to silence departing employees. Today, we learned that ECOT likely violated state law by funding political TV ads with taxpayer money. These latest revelations add to the imperative need for a broad and wide-ranging criminal probe into ECOT and [ECOT founder] Bill Lager.

ECOT’s criminal enterprise was enabled by complicit politicians who gleefully took Lager’s money and looked the other way as millions in taxpayer funds were stolen. My opponent, Keith Faber, abetted this scheme while taking over $36,000 in campaign contributions from Lager. Faber cannot in good faith seek election as Auditor of State -- Ohio’s top oversight position -- while Lager’s tainted cash sits in his campaign account. By refusing to return this money, Keith Faber, once again, proves to every Ohioan that his top priority as a public official is not to look after their hard-earned tax dollars, but to accumulate campaign cash and advance his political career.”

Lager has made $36,513.34 in contributions to Keith Faber’s campaigns since 2003. Lager also contributed $56,365.53 to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee between 2013 and 2016, the years during which Keith Faber led the Ohio Senate GOP’s campaign arm.

In recent weeks, Space has held numerous press events across Ohio highlighting the culture of corruption in Ohio state government, of which ECOT is just one prominent example.