City Hall finance official on the job despite Ohio investigation

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There are official questions about Deputy Chicago Comptroller Jason Yost who had been working in Ohio state government. (WLS)

There are official questions about Deputy Chicago Comptroller Jason Yost who had been working in Ohio state government with Amer Ahmad before both men came to work in City Hall in 2011.

Ahmad was a rising star in the Rahm Emanuel administration until his role in a $3.2 million kickback scheme was exposed. On Thursday, the ABC 7 I-Team learned that authorities in Ohio also have questions about Yost.

The 42-year old was not charged in that bribery case, but is named in an independent investigation of the Ohio Treasurer's Office commissioned by Ohio officials.

The report, obtained by the I-Team, alleges questionable conduct by Yost in the awarding of state business while he was manager of banking relations and compliance for the Ohio State Treasurer and worked closely with Amer Ahmad.

At the state capitol in Columbus, Yost was involved in rating investment firms interested in doing business with the state.

According to the report he "sent an email...copying Ahmad in which he offered to change his scores of zero." Investigators said, "It is unknown what prompted Yost to first offer to change his scores."

The report also stated that "Yost later changed the score for (the company) Ameriprise to a perfect fifteen," and investigators said, "We are aware of no valid justification for this score."

At the Chicago Finance Department, Yost has not responded to repeated I-Team requests for an interview or answer questions about what happened in Ohio, nor did he cooperate with the Ohio investigation. According to the report, "Yost, who is currently serving as Deputy Comptroller for the city of Chicago, did not return phone calls seeking to interview him."

He is currently paid more than $118,000 per year by the city. Spokespersons for both the finance department and the mayor's office declined to comment on Yost's continued employment, despite the questions raised in Ohio.

As for the Harvard-educated Ahmad, he pleaded guilty in 2013 to bribery and conspiracy charges and then fled to his native Pakistan to avoid punishment.

Ahmad was arrested in Pakistan in April 2014 carrying a forged Mexican passport, false papers and $175,000 cash. He was eventually brought back to the United States and is now serving a 15 year sentence in California.

As this report was broadcast on ABC 7 on Thursday at 6 p.m., a Chicago city spokesperson sent a statement concerning Ahmad and Yost.

The statement said: "The City of Chicago had an outside law firm perform a thorough due diligence review of Amer Ahmad's activities while Comptroller, and this outside firm concluded that 'there was no indication that Ahmad abused his influence as Comptroller or defrauded the City or its taxpayers'.

As part of that review, the outside firm also investigated employees who worked for the City after working with Ahmad in Ohio, including Yost, and the report concluded that no wrongdoing was committed by any of those employees. In addition, during the federal investigation of Ahmad in Ohio, Yost spoke to investigators on multiple occasions and at no point was he implicated in any wrongdoing."
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