August 30, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain mayor asks state to investigate city auditor

LORAIN — The state Auditor’s Office is being asked to umpire the political hardball game over repairs at The Pipe Yard.

Krasienko

Krasienko

Mantini

Mantini

Mayor Tony Krasienko, who accuses Auditor Ronald Mantini of document tampering over repair payments, said Tuesday that he asked the state to investigate.

“They are conducting an investigation,” Krasienko said. “I’m assuming the state auditors will see if there are any compliance issues, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Kevin Holtsberry, an office spokesman, said he couldn’t confirm or deny whether an investigation was being conducted.

“In general, when we have an investigation, we don’t comment until it’s done,” he said. “It’s just to keep the integrity of the investigation while it’s ongoing.

Mantini said he supplied the office with documents requested after Krasienko made the accusations at a July 18 City Council meeting. Mantini noted he has supplied Council members, the office and The Chronicle-Telegram with a host of documents since the accusation and said he would fully cooperate with any investigation.

“I gave everybody everything I had,” said Mantini, who believes the accusations are payback for his support for Chase Ritenauer, who defeated Krasienko in the Democratic mayoral primary in May. “He accused me of tampering with documents, and I absolutely have not tampered with any documents.”

Council members de-funded economic development money for Pipe Yard repairs on May 16, angering Krasienko. Last week, they approved $13,500 and a $2,000 budget transfer to pay contractors for repairs.

However, Mantini said contractors have not been paid because Krasienko hasn’t signed off on the resolution.

Krasienko has until Thursday to veto the resolution, which Council members would then attempt to override. Krasienko could also not sign the resolution, which would then automatically take effect.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.