Matt Borges was former Republican Ohio Treasurer “Dirty” Joe Deters’ chief-of-staff. In 2004, Borges pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of improper use of a public office, and was fined $1,000 (Cincinnati Enquirer):
Borges, 32, of Columbus pleaded guilty to one count of improper use of public office, a misdemeanor, and was fined $1,000 by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Eileen Gallagher. Court documents said he gave preferential treatment to certain brokers who made contributions to Deters’ re-election campaign.
SG Cowen Corp. and Lehman Brothers Inc. hired Gruttadauria, and from 1999 to 2001 they did a combined $5.9 billion in investment trades with Deters’ office.
"If one reads what (Borges) admitted doing, he used the power of his office to gain favorable treatment for vendors that did business with the office," Sammon said.
"To me, that’s a very serious offense."
In short, Borges steered state investment business to convicted swindlers like former Cuyahoga Lehman Brothers broker Frank Gruttadauria (who stolen millions from his clients) and other companies, like Lehman Brothers, in return for steering donations earmarked for the Deters campaign through the Hamilton County Republican Party in order to avoid maximum campaign donor limits. According to the Plain Dealer at the time:
“If Ohioans’ tax dollars had been in the hands of Pennsylvania’s treasurer over the past three years, the state could be more than $50 million richer today. Had we invested as California did, that figure could jump to almost $100 million. And had the tax money been in an investment arrangement like Florida’s, it might have earned more than $140 million more than it did in the hands of Ohio Treasurer Joseph Deters.
Of course, every state handles short-term investment of its tax dollars differently. And Ohio investment policy is known to be among the more restrictive in the country. Still, it is difficult to find a comparable group of short- term investments whose returns from 1999 to 2001 were less impressive.
A Plain Dealer analysis found that the rate of return on Ohio’s $6.9 billion portfolio underperformed an array of its low-risk counterparts: treasury funds of neighboring states, treasury funds of similar-size states and the treasuries of Ohio’s four biggest counties.” [Plain Dealer, 9/6/2002]
Yep, Borges was at the heart of a public corruption case that it cost Ohioans millions in bad investments.
In May of last year, when The Other Paper reported on Borges’ conviction and his role in Kasich’s gubernatorial campaign kickoff, the Kasich campaign relegated Borges’ to the role of nothing more than a “campaign volunteer:”
Not to be deterred from public service, the recently unveiled Kasich for Governor campaign confirmed that Borges was enlisted to help Republican candidate defeat Ted Strickland in the 2010 gubernatorial race. “He was a volunteer for our kickoff rally June 1. He was not paid for it,” said Rob Nichols, a spokesman for the Kasich campaign, about Borges. “There were a lot of moving parts at this event. He helped make for a very good evening. We appreciated his help.” [The Other Paper 6/17/2009]
In September 2009, Borges was able to get the judge he appeared in 2004 to expunge and seal his record. He filed the application on May 11, 2009, just weeks before Kasich was set to announce his official candidacy for Governor.
And now, a guy who was at the center of a public corruption case between Lehman Brothers, government contracts, and campaign donations… is in charge of soliciting donations for Governor-elect Kasich’s inaugural committee.
Again, what could POSSIBLY go wrong?
It’s a New Day, New Way!