Alex Triantafilou, Chairman
Ohio Republican State Central Committee
340 E Fulton St
Columbus, OH 43215
Dear Chairman Triantafilou,
As members of the Ohio Republican State Central Committee (ORSCC), we are writing to demand reasonable access to the books, accounting procedures, and financial records of the organization. Our request is not only in the best interest of the ORSCC members, but it is also necessary for transparency and accountability to the public.
As you may be aware, members do not currently have access to the minutes of finance review and audit committee meetings, nor are the times and frequency that these committees have met made available. Additionally, accounting and policy procedures have not been shared with the membership. This lack of transparency is disconcerting, as the ORSCC is responsible for championing transparency in all aspects of government. It is imperative that we practice what we preach and ensure that the ORSCC operates with the utmost transparency.
We assert that our demand for transparency is legally justified. According to Ohio Revised Code Section 1702.41, every member of a nonprofit corporation has the right to inspect the books and records of the organization. Additionally, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that members of a nonprofit corporation have a statutory right to access the organization's books and records, as evidenced by Dep't of Mental Retardation & Dev. Disabilities v. Gessner, 95 Ohio St. 3d 336, 2002-Ohio-2168. The IRS recognizes the Ohio State Central Committee as an IRS-527 political non-profit organization. We have a common law fiduciary responsibility to do our due diligence to inspect our historically poorly maintained books.
Moreover, we believe that our demand for an audit managed exclusively by an audit committee, without interference from the chairman or employees of the Ohio Republican Party, is reasonable. This demand aligns with auditing best practices and ensures that the audit is conducted with complete independence and impartiality. Conducting an audit that is subject to interference or influence from the chairman or employees of the Ohio Republican Party raises questions about its accuracy and trustworthiness.
We recognize that the ORSCC is currently in a difficult financial position, which has been compounded by a lawsuit that prevents the party from being more transparent. It is our view that this is an illogical and counterproductive approach that does not promote the interests or footprint of the party among the public. Therefore, we urge the leadership to end the lawsuit with members of the organization and accede to their demands for transparency and a proper and impartial audit.
It is important to note that the State party serves as an example to the County Central Committees. As such, it is imperative that we set a good example of transparency and accountability. The ORSCC Audit Subcommittee and the ORSCC Fiscal Review Subcommittee must be transparent, and their records should be made available to the members.
We would also like to bring to your attention that members of the ORSCC never empowered leadership to expend in excess of $100,000, as claimed by former treasurer David Johnson. We demand that the ORSCC provide an explanation for this expenditure, cite a legal justification, and provide documentation to support the expenditure beyond Article III Section 7 of the bylaws.
In the event that the ORSCC does not settle the lawsuit, we intend to call for a special meeting and introduce a resolution to cease the hemorrhaging of funds on this ridiculous lawsuit. We hope that this will not be necessary and that the ORSCC will act in the best interest of the members and the party.
In conclusion, we assert that our demand for transparency and an audit managed exclusively by an audit committee, without interference from the chairman or employees of the Ohio Republican Party, is legally justified and reasonable. We urge the other ORSCC members to end the lawsuit and provide all members with reasonable access to the books and procedures of the organization.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this issue.
Members of the OHCIAC!