State Auditor’s YouTube Video Raises Questions

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost appearing in a new YouTube video urging Columbus City Schools employees to report any potential wrong-doing.(Photo: YouTube)
Ohio Auditor Dave Yost appearing in a new YouTube video urging Columbus City Schools employees to report any potential wrong-doing.(Photo: YouTube)

Late last week WOSU reported that Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost had posted a video on YouTube. In it, he asks Columbus City Schools employees to call an anonymous tip-line if they have information about the altering of attendance records. The video raises several questions.

In the YouTube video Dave Yost asks only Columbus City Schools employees respond to the anonymous tip line.

“I’m the Auditor of State in Ohio and I’m here today with a message for employees of the Columbus public school system,” Yost says in the video.

That’s unusual since the auditor’s office is investigating school districts around the state for possible records altering.

Secondly, the auditor refers to the allegations of attendance-rigging as if they had, in fact, occurred.

“I’m sure that most of you were just as unhappy about the reports of attendance-rigging as I was,” Yost says in the video. “And I’m betting that an awful lot of folks know something about what was going on but you haven’t known what to do; who to call; how to make it right.”

Yost defends his matter-of-fact statement.

“It’s really hard to see this fact pattern any other way,” Yost says. “Now there may have been folks that were acting under direction that thought that everything was in the rules but when you’re manipulating the reports and the numbers to reflect something that’s not reality that’s wrongdoing.”

The chief spokesman for Columbus City Schools, Jeff Warner, says the YouTube video and an anonymous tip-line are appropriate if they lead to a resolution of the allegations.

“We trust that if the auditor believes this is a means, or the best means, by which they can conduct that investigation, we’re fully in support of that,” Warner says. “We want to get to the bottom of this just as much as anybody.”

Yost says that by the end of the week investigators will be working at locations around the state gathering information about possible data tampering.

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