(CN) – Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner does not have to stop investigating who is bankrolling an anti-gambling group, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled.
LetOhioVote.org is challenging Gov. Ted Strickland’s proposal to place slot machines at horse tracks. Ohio voters will decide the issue on the November ballot.
Brunner’s staff found what they considered irregularities in the group’s campaign-finance statements for 2009.
LetOhioVote was backed last year by a Virginia-based corporation called New Models to the tune of $1.5 million. Brunner issued several subpoenas to discover more information about New Models.
The subjects of those subpoenas asked the Ohio Supreme Court for a writ of prohibition to block the subpoenas, but the justices denied their request.
“Because no statute or other pertinent law required the secretary of state to conduct a hearing resembling a judicial trial when she decided to issue the subpoenas to relators in furtherance of her investigation of LetOhioVote.org’s 2009 campaign finance report, the secretary of state did not exercise quasi-judicial authority in issuing them,” the court wrote.