Shortly after Democrat Kevin Boyce left office as the state treasurer in 2011, he landed a job with Rice Financial Products in New York while his deputy treasurer, Amer Ahmad, moved on to become comptroller for the city of Chicago.
Rice Financial made $407,602 in fees off bond deals it helped handle for Chicago in 2011 and 2012, according to records posted online by the Chicago Finance Department. But Boyce, who is now a state representative, said he played no active role in the 2011 bond deal and had resigned from the firm by the time the 2012 bond deal occurred.
“As an employee of Rice Financial, I did not do any transactions with the city of Chicago,” Boyce told the Dayton Daily News on Wednesday.
Ahmad resigned as Chicago comptroller in July and pleaded not guilty last week to federal bribery, money laundering, conspiracy and wire fraud charges related to an alleged kickback scheme he ran while deputy state treasurer. Records surfaced that show Boyce was aware of the federal investigation as early as November 2010.
Through a series of press conference calls and news releases, the Ohio Republican Party is asking questions about what Boyce knew when.
Boyce said Rice Financial asked him to cover the city of Chicago when a vacancy occurred in the firm’s office there — a move that he said required him to register as a lobbyist with the city — and he did have lunch with Ahmad a couple of times.
Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges said: “The questions about Boyce’s involvement in corruption seem to just keep coming, but Kevin Boyce and Ohio Democrats still have no answers for Ohioans. When will Kevin Boyce come clean about this corruption? His constituents and the people of Ohio deserve nothing less than his full honesty on his involvement in this scandal.”
Cristal Baron, president of Rice Financial, said her firm has been an underwriter on Chicago deals before and after Boyce worked for Rice. His tenure did not overlap with the 2011 bond or the 2012 bond deals, she said.
Borges served in the treasurer’s office as chief of staff to Republican Joe Deters. In 2004, Borges pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor ethics violation for giving preferential treatment to some investment brokers. He later had the record expunged.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said, “Matt Borges ought to take a look at his own personal background of malfeasance and wrong doing in the treasurer’s office. Kevin Boyce has been accused of nothing by any authority.”