Wright, now a lobbyist with Thomas P. Pappas & Associates, said the mortgage arrangement had nothing to do with his work with Rosenberger. At the Pappas firm he represents 17 clients, including blue chip companies such as Altria, Walmart and Anheuser Busch Companies.
Ragan holds $256 million worth of stock in Greif Inc., an industrial packaging manufacturer based in Delaware County. She could not be reached for comment.
The Dayton Daily News recently revealed that Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, rents a 2,237-square-foot luxury condo in downtown Columbus from Ragan, who has contributed more than $1.5 million to Ohio Republican campaigns since 2010.
Rosenberger has declined to say what he pays in rent, though he says he pays a nightly rate that Ragan and her attorneys set. He has used the condo since early 2014, when he began lining up to run for House speaker, one of the three most powerful political posts in state government.
Northbank 503 LLC purchased the condo for $660,000 in March 2014 — the same month that Rosenberger received an opinion from the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee saying the rental is not prohibited by state law. Rosenberger is a committee member.
Wright spent a year as director of the speaker’s office, served as a legislative aide to Republican state Reps. Gerald Stebelton and Jim Butler, worked as campaign manager for the Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee and interned for the Kasich/Taylor campaign. He also served as Rosenberger’s campaign manager in 2011 and 2012, according to Wright’s resume.
Rosenberger said he only recently found out about the mortgage, had no role in it and it was arranged after Wright left state employment.
“It’s none of my business,” he said.
Wright says on the Pappas website under the tab “How I got here” that he “developed strong relationships with members of the Ohio House through assisting them in their campaigns,” and “served as director of the Speaker’s Office in the Ohio House under Speaker Clifford A. Rosenberger.”
He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bowling Green State University, according to his LinkedIn page.
In his October 22, 2015 resignation letter to Rosenberger, Wright wrote: “I am grateful for the many friendships, including yours, that I have made during my time in the Ohio House.”
The job in the speaker’s office paid $28.85 an hour, according to Wright’s personnel file.
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