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From left to right, Nate Johnny, David Parkhill, Katie Moore, Max Routsong and Ryan Evans protest outside Sarah Grace's office on October 20, 2016. (METIN OZISIK | FOR THE POST)

College Republicans protest outside of Sarah Grace's office

Rain did not deter Ohio University College Republicans from protesting outside Sarah Grace’s local campaign office, 19 W. Washington St., in response to a $5,800 discrepancy in the East Elementary Parent Teacher Organization’s funds, where Grace recently served as treasurer.

Grace, the Democratic candidate for the 94th district seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, served as the treasurer from 2014 through June 2016, according to a previous Post report. The current treasurer noticed a funding discrepancy in August, the report states.

Meeting minutes from the organization show Grace deposited $1,651.60 in both cash and checks on Aug. 26, money earned from the school’s book fair in May.

“It took her 15 weeks to deposit money after she left office ... so we’re going to take a walk to the Hocking Valley Bank just to kind of prove it doesn’t take 15 weeks to get there,” College Republicans President David Parkhill said.

A local certified public accountant, Alex Couladis, was asked to review the PTO records. According to a previous Post report, Athens City School Superintendent Thomas Gibbs said he does not believe Grace had participated in any wrongdoing. The Parent Teacher Organization will not be taking any legal action.

“I don’t want to unfairly accuse of her stealing money,” Parkhill said. “It’s off the books; that’s all we know. So either she stole it, or she is just so incompetent that she can’t keep these books.”

Parkhill said that served as an example of why Grace was “unfit” to represent the people in the district.

“This just shows her character,” OUCR member Casey Kinsey said.

Nathan Cotton, Grace's campaign manager, said he would be happy to talk to protesters about major policy problems, and he called the focus on the discrepancy "politically manufactured."

"It was just kind of puzzling that they were willing to stand in the rain and protest something that was clearly debunked," Cotton said.

@norajaara

nj342914@ohio.edu

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