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Leader Russo Calls for Investigation Into Stolen Identities Used for Fraudulent Letters Sent to Ohio Department of Natural Resources

September 11, 2023
C. Allison Russo News

COLUMBUS - House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today sent a letter requesting Attorney General Dave Yost to investigate 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. 

“Without a doubt, any process allowing or denying drilling and fracking in our pristine state parks is controversial, but these recent allegations suggest that the process has been overrun by scammers and out-of-state groups trying to rig OGLMC’s approval process,” said Leader Russo.

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. 

“Allowing the OGLMC approval process to be overrun by potential fraud is unacceptable, and the Attorney General’s Office, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and the commission should not passively stand by and await individuals to discover their names and other personal information were used to author fake public comments,” said Leader Russo.

Russo Letter to AG Yost

Russo Letter to Dir Mertz