Ohio AG rival wants probe of DeWine bid process

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — His Democratic rival wants federal authorities to investigate Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's handling of lucrative collections contracts in the wake of a newspaper investigation.

DeWine's office challenges the factual basis for requesting any probe.

Attorney General candidate David Pepper's call came Tuesday. It followed a Dayton Daily News report (http://bit.ly/1p6z8I3) that found state bid documents were changed to favor a newly-created collections firm founded by a DeWine political ally over a seasoned collections company.

The ally, Pete Spitalieri (spih-tah-LAYR'-ee), formed CELCO Ltd. days before collections proposals for the upcoming fiscal year were requested. DeWine's schedules showed multiple meetings with Spitalieri and a county Republican chairman whose party donated more than $400,000 to DeWine's campaign since 2010.

DeWine's spokesman said the allegedly altered bid document was one judge's personal notes.