Ohio AG: ‘We want our money back;’ lawsuit alleges overcharges for Caesar Creek Lake

An aerial view shows Caesar Creek. FILE

Combined ShapeCaption
An aerial view shows Caesar Creek. FILE

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improperly charged the state of Ohio to attend a boat show, and to buy a washer and dryer and set of American flags, according to a lawsuit filed Friday by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

The suit filed in U.S. Court of Federal Claims seeks to recoup what Yost says are questionable charges billed to the state for the upkeep of Caesar Creek Lake.

“The Army Corps of Engineers has kept tight-lipped when pressed about these excessive and unreasonable charges,” Yost stated in a release. “Some of the receipts we have seen are unbelievable – like charges for attending a boat show. We want our money back.”

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The corps of engineers maintains and operates the reservoir, a water source for the city of Wilmington, through an agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The ODNR bills the city for reimbursement, the release stated.

The maintenance and operational charges are supposed to be limited to those involving flood control and water supply. However, some available receipts list charges for unrelated purposes, such as travel to a Cincinnati boat show, solar panel repairs, a washer and dryer and a set of American flags.

The state’s lawsuit also seeks a judgement specifying what constitutes maintenance and operation costs under the contract. Attorneys from Yost’s Environmental Enforcement Section are representing ODNR in the case.

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