Randy Ludlow Drops More Details on the Kent Markus/Strickland Drug Non-Sting Cover-up
This is incredible:
A state investigation of an alleged scheme to cover up the use of illegal immigrants to remodel a state-leased office building is now in the hands of the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.
But state troopers say they had to stand their ground to ensure the case reached the prosecutor.
Former State Highway Patrol Lt. Col. William Costas, who retired this month as the agency’s No. 2 leader, said investigators had to defend their authority to investigate the case under questioning from the top two lawyers to Gov. Ted Strickland.
The governor’s office said it was making sure the patrol had proper jurisdiction, but Costas charges that the lawyers were trying to throw up a roadblock. In the end, the investigation proceeded without interruption.
The Sept. 10, 2008, meeting in which Kent Markus, who is chief counsel to the governor, and Jose Torres, his deputy, questioned the patrol’s role will add fuel to a political issue brewing at the Statehouse. Republican lawmakers are asking whether political meddling has afflicted patrol investigations.
“We were told we should not investigate,” Costas said. “The meeting had no valid purpose. There was no question we had authority (to investigate) … they were trying to control what we did. They tried intimidation.”
Prosecutor Ron O’Brien finds the questioning by the governor’s lawyers odd, saying it was clear the patrol had authority to investigate and serve search warrants in the case.
Strickland’s office believes that “furious” ex-patrol leaders who left with “hurt feelings” now are lashing out over deserved questioning they received at the 2008 meeting, Wurst said.
An investigation by The Dispatch found that the meeting came after a lobbyist close to Strickland met with Markus on behalf of the company under criminal scrutiny. The two men met two days before the patrol began its probe.
The case centers on the Anchor Companies and its affiliated companies and criminal complaints of hiring illegal immigrants and covering up the activity in records submitted to the state.
In early 2008, the state signed a lease with an Anchor subsidiary that called for remodeling the Columbus real-estate firm’s building at 770 W. Broad St. to house offices of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The state now leases the building for $1.1million a year.
In June 2008, union complaints were filed with the Ohio Department of Commerce accusing Anchor of employing illegal immigrants and not paying state-required prevailing wages to laborers.
Larry Gunsorek, 63, of Bexley, president of Anchor Management Co., faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court on Nov. 5 to hiring illegal immigrants to work on the state prison offices and other properties.
On July 23, 2008, commerce investigators contacted the patrol and asked for help investigating allegations that Anchor had submitted fraudulent documents to the state. The patrol opened a criminal case two days later.
Please read the rest of the article here. Prosecutor O’Brien notes that it is clear that the patrol was the appropriate agency to look into the investigation.
And guess who the lobbyist was? Thomas Fries Sr., a former Democrat legislator, who represents Anchor Companies and worked with Makus. Fries’ son Andrew, is an aide to Strickland who makes $41,273/year. And another son, Thomas, makes $100,178 as the executive director of the Ohio State Racing Commission, which is a board appointed by Strickland himself!
The total donations from Fries family has $23,750 to Strickland since 2005.
These details are minor compared to what is about to hit next. And between Paul Aker and Randy Ludlow, Kent Markus’ corruption is about to be the final nail in the coffin of Ted Strickland’s political career.