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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2006

Inspector wants $85,000 for BWC investigation costs

FROM BLADE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

COLUMBUS - The state's watchdog against corruption wants permission to spend $85,000 to help pay for the ongoing investigation into the investment practices of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

Inspector General Tom Charles will ask the state Controlling Board at its Monday meeting to transfer the money from a fund set aside for his investigation of the scandal. The Controlling Board approves many of the more costly state government contracts.

The contracts for three outside forensic investigators -Thomas Anderson of Columbus, Forensic Consultants of Marysville, and Larry Weaver of Powell - originally called for less than $50,000 but the scope of their work continues to expand, Mr. Charles said.

"Because of the complicated nature of this investigation, their expertise is needed for an extended amount of time," Mr. Charles said in his request.

The investigators are gathering information and drafting summaries of their work, and may testify before grand juries, among other duties, according to Mr. Charles' request.



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