The right-to-work Associated Builders and Contractors of Ohio (ABC) had plenty to say about the inspector general’s critical report on the Ohio School Facilities Commission
August 5. Union organizers, on the other hand, were apparently in no mood to discuss the findings against onetime union negotiator Richard Murray, the OSFC director now caught up in the larger political dispute between labor organizers and open-shop advocates.
Former state Rep. Bryan Williams, director of government affairs for ABC, continued his attack on Murray’s administration, likening the director’s ongoing union ties to “possible criminal behavior.” “Based on these documented findings, Richard Murray should resign or be terminated so the OSFC can return to performing its important work in a fair and legal manner,” Williams said.
His statement said “where there is coercion, there is corruption,” pointing to member dues and other remuneration the unions would benefit from as part of the project labor agreement (PLA) Murray negotiated for the new Ohio School for the Deaf and School for the Blind. Williams also noted the director’s request to work as a union consultant while leading OSFC.
“Mr. Murray’s effort to be paid by a former union employer while on the state payroll and his concurrent establishment of a PLA that would steer money to this former employer – of which he boasted continued membership – is an abuse of office at least and criminal at worst,” he said.
Williams renewed his recent call for OSFC to re-bid the School for the Deaf/School for the Blind project.
In a separate call from reporters to Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) – Murray’s former employer – LECET Director John Hughes declined to comment.
A call to regional director Robert Richardson of Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), with which the IG says Murray has maintained close ties, was not returned.
In a separate statement, Communications Director Keith Dailey in the governor’s office drew attention to an article published Friday by the Mansfield News Journal, which found unlike complaints lodged against Murray by several Scioto County school districts, “Richland County schools didn’t feel pressured by unions.”