Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel failed to show at a hearing discussing his handling of nearly $2 million earmarked for taxpayer-funded public service announcements.
A deputy represented the Republican before an Ohio Senate committee Tuesday.
Mandel's office used its budget for promoting STABLE, a new investment program for families with special needs children, in increments just under $50,000, avoiding public discussion. Mandel, a U.S. Senate candidate, was featured in the ads alongside Urban Meyer, Ohio State's football coach, and a STABLE accountholder.
A House amendment to the state budget bill requires Controlling Board approval for advertising that, in total, exceeds $50,000.
Mandel's office says the spending was legal but he has "no problem with" the amendment.
Senate Democrats wrote to Mandel Tuesday formally requesting his presence before the committee.