Solar firm that donated to Ted Strickland in return for tax dollars now in default

Three months ago, we told you about how WK Solar received millions of Ohio tax dollars from the Strickland administration, even though Strickland knew that the firm was already failing.

Media Trackers Ohio details the findings of a Toledo Blade investigation of possible misuse of millions of dollars loaned to WK Solar by the Strickland administration. Among the most alarming of the revelations that MTO’s Jesse Hathaway finds is that the Strickland administration knew as early as 2009 that WK Solar was in financial trouble even after receiving $5 million in state loans. Yet, Strickland continued to give the company another $10 million in state funds.

I’m sure it was a coincidence that Strickland received $25,000 from WK executives for his failed 2010 reelection campaign, right Ted Strickland?

At the time, we reported that WK was late on loan payments that had been extended multiple times. The state has had enough, and has declared WK to be in default. From the Columbus Dispatch:

For the first time ever, the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority today called a loan due, declaring northwest Ohio solar manufacturer Willard & Kelsey Solar Group in default and ordering full repayment by Sept. 3.

Willard & Kelsey of Perrysburg has failed to make scheduled payments on its $5 million loan, and company officials recently rejected an authority request to make an immediate $1 million payment, plus a $4 million personal note. The company, authority members said, just didn’t have the financial backing to make things work.

This is just another example of how clueless Ted Strickland is on energy policy. Earlier this year, we saw him traveling around the state trying to convince Ohioans that there is no Obama War on Coal. Now we see millions of Ohio taxpayer dollars that we will never get back.

Unfortunately, Ted Strickland’s failed policies are still costing Ohio.

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Author: Nick

I was born and raised in Ohio. After growing up in the Columbus area, I moved to Cleveland to study at Case Western Reserve University, and have lived in Northeast Ohio ever since. I live in Wellington with my wife and son. I work in the private sector and have never worked in the political field.

2 thoughts on “Solar firm that donated to Ted Strickland in return for tax dollars now in default”

  1. Seems almost a proverb. Give tax payer money to a solar company. Never get it back.

    I would like to know why government is in the loan business when that is the job of financial institutions to evaluate a company for it’s loan worthiness. Was WK in such dire straights at the time they couldn’t secure a conventional loan with a bank?

    Did the Strickland administration structure the loan to guarantee or secure it with assets? Does the state get to liquidate the plant and equipment or did Ted secure it with good will?

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