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Published: Tuesday, 9/12/2006

BWC hires Pittsburgh firm as its new auditor

BLADE STAFF

COLUMBUS - The embattled Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation has a new firm in place to audit its books.

The Ohio Controlling Board yesterday approved a request from State Auditor Betty Montgomery to commit $550,000 to hire Schneider Downs & Co., based in Pittsburgh, to conduct the 2005 and 2006 audits of the agency that has been gripped by scandal for more than a year. The board approved the decision with a 5-2 vote.

Schneider Downs & Co. will replace KPMG, the bureau's previous auditing firm, which was terminated earlier this year after its auditors would not release an opinion on the agency for 2005 before the conclusion of ongoing criminal investigations. The auditor's office said yesterday that KPMG has already collected $297,000 for its work on the 2005 audit. Yesterday, Gov. Bob Taft appointed Charles Kranstuber, of Dublin, to service on the Workers' Compensation Oversight Commission. Mr. Kranstuber, an attorney with Livorno & Arnett Co., replaced Thomas Bainbridge, whose term expired.



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