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Ahead of Controversial Ruling on Fracking in State Parks, Leader Russo Asks for Update from Attorney General on Investigation Into Fraudulent Letters Sent Supporting Drilling

November 14, 2023
C. Allison Russo News

COLUMBUS - House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today sent a follow-up letter requesting Attorney General Dave Yost to update the public on his investigation into allegations made in a Cleveland Plain Dealer report that claims dozens of Ohioans had their identities stolen and used without their permission on fake letters sent to the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission (OGLMC), urging oil and gas exploration in Ohio’s state parks. It’s imperative the public receive an update on the investigation ahead of Wednesday's OGLMC meeting where a decision is expected on the controversial proposal to open thousands of acres of Ohio state parks and other state lands for oil and gas exploration. 

“A thorough investigation is imperative so Ohioans have confidence that any state process meant to include public input is, in fact, functioning to reflect public opinion and not another conduit for public corruption,” said Leader Russo. “Identity theft in Ohio is a serious crime, and I look forward to the Attorney General improving public confidence in our state agencies and ensuring criminal activity does not permeate our state approval processes.”

In September, Leader Russo also sent a second letter to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) director requesting the OGLMC deny any pending leasing nominations currently being considered in regard to oil and gas exploration in state parks until an official investigation is complete. The letter also asked ODNR to individually verify the letters submitted during this eligibility window, and if they cannot be verified, the submissions should be deleted from the public record and provided to the Attorney General for investigation. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: A copy of the letter sent to Attorney General Yost is attached to this release.