Mandel’s Debt Management Office Director: An Answer to Cronyism Allegations

by Daniel Downs

U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel is being accused of cronyism by incumbent Sherrod Brown. Mandel is guilty but with some qualification. Obviously, before becoming Ohio’s Treasurer, Mandel had his sights on Congress. When he became Treasurer he hired his friend and campaign manager Joe Aquilino. Keeping Joe’s valuable services for his present and future work was important for Mandel’s future success.

Yes, Mandel deserves criticism for hiring an inexperienced investment bonds manager. If you read how Aquilino’s job is described you will glimpse Mandel’s reasonable strategy. First, he is referred to as the Director of the Debt Management Office and not of the Office of Debt Management. Second, the following is an excerpt from an April 4, 2012 Huffington Post article in which is disclosed Mandel’s view of Aquilino’s position:

Mandel’s state press secretary, Seth Unger, told The Huffington Post Thursday that Aquiliano was primarily a manager, while another staffer, Seth Metcalf, handled debt policy.

“Joe is a licensed attorney. He managed staff in the Debt Management Department, and worked under Seth Metcalf’s direction on debt issuances,” Unger said. “Mr. Metcalf has extensive experience with debt issues, and continues to be the key person overseeing debt issuances in the treasurer’s office.”

In other words, Mandel hired experienced bonds manager Seth Metcalf to handle debt management. He kept attorney Joe Aquilino employed because he is an excellent manager of people and organizations. That is also why Aquilino is now employed as Mandel campaign manager.

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