John Kasich, who becomes Ohio governor on Monday, says he supports transparency related to his selection of Gary Mohr, a former official at the nation’s largest provider of private-prison services, to run the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction at a time when Kasich is considering privatizing prison operations, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Kasich and Mohr said agency business would be publicly bid and that the prisons director would abstain from any decisions involving Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America, where he worked for two years.
“There’s got to be transparency,” Kasich said in Chillicothe, Mohr’s hometown. “You can’t let him be involved in picking somebody he just worked for, unless somebody else does the picking, and that’s the way we’ll try to do it.” Mohr, 57, worked for three decades in the state prison system, serving as the agency’s deputy director under former Republican Govs. George Voinovich and Bob Taft. From 2007 to 2009, Mohr was a managing director for CCA, which owns and operates a private prison in Youngstown that houses federal inmates, as well as facilities in 18 other states and the District of Columbia. Mohr currently works as a prisons consultant, with CCA as a client.