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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

DeWine Goes After Former ECOT Officials To Recover State Money

Former ECOT Superintendent Rick Teeters during a Franklin County Common Pleas court hearing in September 2016. Teeters is one of the former school officials DeWine names in the lawsuit.

A judge has granted Attorney General Mike DeWine permission to carry forward with his lawsuit against ECOT and the companies owned by its founder, IQ Innovations and Altair Learning Management. The attorney general is taking a few different routes to get the money.  DeWine claims IQ, Altair, and a handful of ECOT officials, including its founder Bill Lager, are liable for the $60 million the school still owes the state in a claw back for students the school didn’t have.The lawsuit is also going after any personal profit Lager made when ECOT contracted with the two companies he owned.DeWine spokesperson Dan Tierney says there’s a sense of urgency with this lawsuit.“This is us trying to be as aggressive as possible to collect public funds that can ultimately be returned to taxpayers while they still exist,” says Tierney.DeWine has been criticized for not going after ECOT years ago when the conflict between Lager and his companies started. But DeWine’s office says they’ve had to work within their jurisdiction.Defendants listed in the lawsuit:

  • William Lager, founder of ECOT
  • Altair Learning Management, ECOT's operator and management company
  • IQ Innovations, provided ECOT with curricular materials and related services
  • Rick Teeters, former superintendent of ECOT
  • Michelle Smith, former treasurer of ECOT
  • Christopher Meister, vice president of accounting for ECOT
  • Ann Barnes, Education Management Information System (EMIS) director for ECOT
  • Regina Lukich, director of federal programs for ECOT

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