George Elmaraghy, whose 30-plus year career at OEPA included over seven years as the head of the Division of Surface Water, acknowledged overarching pressure from the coal industry during the past year as being a decisive factor for his ousting.
In an email sent to his
former colleagues at OEPA
Debbie Phillips demanded that specific correspondence between the governor's office, the OEPA
and coal industry executives with respect to Elmaraghy
be made public domain under the state of Ohio's public records law.
"It seems pretty clear that Mr. Elmaraghy
is the latest casualty of the Kasich Administration's culture of political favoritism."
Ohio coal companies have donated nearly $130,000 to the incumbent Kasich's campaign finance fund.
This, according to Phillip's online statement, is only "fueling the perception that Kasich's ouster of Elmaraghy
may have been influenced by moneyed campaign interests."
Murray Energy Corporation-which, according to their website, is the largest privately owned coal company in America-is one of the industry influences that environmentalist groups have asserted is culpable for the sustained pressure on Elmaraghy
and the OEPA
Neither Kasich nor OEPA Director Nally has offered to directly comment on the resignation of Elmaraghy