Ohio GOP calls on Boyce to answer questions about deputy treasurer

Ahmad, 38, of Chicago, pleaded not guilty to bribery, money laundering, wire fraud, conspiracy and other charges in U.S. District Court this week.

Ahmad is accused of conspiring with two others to steer state treasury work to a high school classmate who made $3.2 million in commissions off the state. Federal authorities said Ahmad and his conspirators received $523,000 in kickbacks from Douglas Hampton of Hampton Capital Management in Canton. If convicted on all counts, Ahmad faces up to 60 years in prison.

Since Ahmad was indicted last week, it’s been “radio silence” from Boyce, who is now a state representative from the Columbus area, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges said.

“Unfortunately, we’ve heard nothing from Rep. Boyce, we’ve heard nothing from the Ohio Democratic Party, we’ve heard nothing from House Democrats,” he said.

Boyce said in a written statement to the Associated Press on Tuesday that any wrongdoing should be fully prosecuted.

The Democratic state treasurer before Boyce, Richard Cordray, hired Ahmad as the chief financial officer and Boyce elevated him to both CFO and deputy treasurer. Ahmad left the treasurer’s office when Republican Josh Mandel beat Boyce in the November 2010 election. A month ago, he abruptly quit his post as comptroller for the city of Chicago in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration.

“I don’t condone it and if convicted, I hope the proverbial book is thrown at him,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said. “I think anyone who misleads the public and takes advantage of the public trust should be held accountable.”

But Redfern was eager to shift the discussion back to Republicans.

“I think it’s scandalous that Josh Mandel hasn’t committed himself to being the state treasurer. He’s more interested in running for the next office rather than the office he has,” he said.

Chicago officials said Ahmad’s indictment was the first they heard that he was under investigation. The Emanuel administration released documents saying that they properly vetted Ahmad before hiring him as city comptroller in early 2011. The administration says it will review decisions Ahmad as comptroller as well as votes he made as a trustee in the city’s pension funds.

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