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Published: Saturday, 12/3/2011

Judge bars suit over JobsOhio


COLUMBUS -- A judge Friday tossed out a challenge of Gov. John Kasich's JobsOhio program.

Judge Laurel Beatty of Franklin County Common Pleas Court made her ruling based on technical grounds, not constitutional claims.

She said ProgressOhio and two state representatives lacked legal standing to sue. The law that created the privatized state development entity requires any challenges to be filed within 90 days of its creation, so critics wonder how anybody would have the legal standing to mount a legal challenge. Judge Beatty said in a 32-page opinion she ruled despite concerns regarding some provisions of the JobsOhio Act.

"We are very pleased with the judge's decision," said Mark Kvamme, president and interim chief investment officer for JobsOhio. "Now we can focus 100 percent of our energy on job No. 1: creating jobs in Ohio."

ProgressOhio's Brian Rothenberg said he would consult with his co-plaintiffs, state Sen. Michael Skindell of (D., Lakewood) and Rep. Dennis Murray of (D., Sandusky), before deciding on an appeal.

"Essentially this decision says you need to have [suffered] harm for standing, but you had to file the suit within 90 days, which would mean that not only ProgressOhio but virtually no one in Ohio would have standing," Mr. Rothenberg said. "The good thing for citizens out of this process is that, out of seven things that we alleged were unconstitutional, six have been reversed by the Supreme Court or the administration itself has changed."

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