BATH TOWNSHIP — The Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) is looking into Bath Township records regarding a trustee and an energy company which with he is associated.
The OEC issued a subpoena to the Bath Township Board of Trustees for records related to Trustee Tom Pitstick, and records related to Dovetail Energy, LLC.
The subpoena, signed on Oct. 20, requires the township to provide “any and all records related to the service of Tom Pitstick as a Trustee from January 1, 2018 to the present.” The subpoena also asks for any and all records concerning Dovetail Energy and Renergy, Inc., “including but not limited to zoning and/or land applications, zoning reports/findings, permits, certificates, meeting minutes, and contacts” stemming from the same date.
The above documents amount to nearly 4,000 pages, which Bath Township submitted to the OEC by the Nov. 13 deadline.
The subpoena and its language mirrors a similar one in which the OEC requested records related to Trustee Kassie Lester on Sept. 10, 2020. That same document also requested records related to Dovetail and Renergy.
According to OEC Communications Administrator Susan Willeke, per the Ohio Revised Code, the Ethics Commission is not permitted to release any information about ongoing allegations, nor can it confirm or deny that an ethics investigation has been opened.
However, she said once allegations are brought to the attention of the OEC, the organization may take action in one of three different ways.
— If the commission finds that there is not enough evidence for a case, notifications of such are mailed both to the person who made the allegations and the person whom allegations were made against. No further action is taken.
— If the commission finds enough evidence for a violation of ethics law, it will refer the case to a local prosecutor.
— If the commission finds enough evidence, the two parties may settle out of court, and enter into a settlement agreement. Though the proceedings are confidential, the final settlement agreement is public record.
Dovetail, a subsidiary of Renergy, Inc., has come under fire in recent years for operating a biodigester facility on the 14.7 acres of Pitstick’s farm. Pitstick said he has recused himself from all board discussions involving the two companies.
Pitstick declined to comment regarding the OEC subpoena.
The biodigester provides renewable energy and fertilizer to Pitstick’s property, as well as surrounding farms. Last year, it was found that Renergy and Dovetail were operating the facility in violation of Bath Township zoning code. Dovetail has since appealed this decision.