Posts Tagged ‘Paul Aker’

Troopergate: Cathy Collins-Taylor Not Confirmed, Ted Strickland Shamelessly Reappoints Her Elsewhere

May 26th, 2010 Matt Comments off

From Paul Aker on Channel 10:

Yesterday’s Senate hearing was a disgraceful display of ugly partianship by Senate Democrats. Unable to convince Republicans that Collins-Taylor, who called off a drug sting at the Governor’s mansion and who has been accused of lying under oath by an Inspector General with impeccable integrity, they resorted to name calling, cheap shots, and even crying on the floor of the Senate.

Senator Capri Cafaro ends her floor speech by suggesting that rejecting Collins-Taylor might send a message to young women that they should not become police officers. And Senator Shirley Smith, an eccentric drama queen, was visibly shaken and tearing up, accusing Republicans of simply scoring political points during an election year.

If any Republicans were playing politics, it was Senator Kevin Koughlin, fresh off his his recent efforts to bash John Kasich and glowing from endless newspaper endorsements for his creepy-crawly statist proposal to regulate the health of school lunches, is term limited and desperately seeking an appointment by Gov. Strickland. He may take over the organization that Rocky Saxbe, the lawyer who gave Collins-Taylor an undisclosed discount for his services, started in 2006, “Republicans for Strickland.”

What is most alarming is that Gov. Strickland’s hyper-political administration already had a new job lined up for Collins-Taylor on the Ohio Parole Board. And this is to be expected, as Collins-Taylor’s husband, Mike, runs the Fraternal Order of Police and Strickland would like to maintain that organization’s public support, even though privately there are serious battles happening inside the FOP after their letter to support Collins-Taylor was written without proper board approval.

Gov. Strickland’s administration also gave a minor slap on the wrist to the corrupt top attorney for the Ohio Department of Public Safety Josh Engel, after he conspired to leak a classified Department of Homeland Security document to the Inspector General, in hopes that the IG would release it and thus be prosecuted federally. What was his punishment? Some time off from work and a tiny pay cut.

What is great fun about the internal investigations about the serious, credible allegations against Engel is that the report is sent to Larry McCarthey. Who is Larry? He was convicted on corruption charges while shaking down public contractors for Gov. Dick Celeste. Yeah… That guy is really going to clean house at the ODPS!

So to review, Collins-Taylor gets a new job, Engel gets a minor demotion, but State Highway Patrol officer Major Booker, after 33 years of exceptional service, gets canned from his job 2 weeks before his retirement after accusations were made that he leaked information about the politically motivated calling-off of a drug sting at the Governor’s mansion.

Gov. Strickland learned from the errors of Gov. Taft, and changed procedures so investigations such as these always end up going through the Governor’s office so they can be analyzed and covered up by dirt-bag legal eagles such as Kent Markus. This is Gov. Strickland exposed for raw politics and corruption of the highest order. Strickland’s actions are shameless, and this story is far from over.

Troopergate: Gov. Ted Strickland Lied About Not Wanting Inmate Safety Protocols Reformed

May 20th, 2010 Matt View Comments

I remember posting this exciting video from Marc Kovac in February, but now that I’m slowly reading through the large pile of testimony, I think this has new significance:

Here is the relevent transcript (starts at about the 2:00 mark):

Paul Aker: At that point, did the correctional institute at Pickaway say that they were concerned about safety, and perhaps you directed that nothing should change?

Gov. Strickland: uh, Let me tell you that no one from the correctional institute has ever indicated to me any concern about safety. And, if they indicated that to you I’m just curious as to why they would indicate it to you but not to me.

Aker: Did you ever tell anyone not to change any protocols at the mansion regarding safety?

Strickland: Regarding safety? Uh, tell me what sort of safety protocols you’re talking about.

Aker: Well, after the gentlman fell through the window as I understand it, there was quite a meeting that went on between various leaders of safety and other leaders at the patrol and the DRC- and it came to your attention and you directed that- No, in fact the program should remain as it is.

Strickland: You’re talking about things that I have no knowledge of. You need to be more specific with me- When you say there were meetings, what was discussed at those meetings? In regards to safety, what do you mean by safety concerns?

Aker: I guess, specifically, did you ever tell anyone not to change any protocols?

Strickland: What protocols?

Aker: Not to change the program- to leave it just as it is.

Strickland: Listen, this program started under Gov. James Rhodes, and it has continued pretty much unchanged since the Rhodes administration. It’s a good program. It’s provides a great benefit to the state of Ohio and saves the state of Ohio significant sums of money. And, if you will bring me a specific protocol that I did or did not ask to be changed I will respond to you.

But on pages 23-24 of 66 of Major Robert Booker’s interview with the Inspector General’s office, it is quite clear that Ted Strickland found out about such a meeting, and while in transit to the State House had his driver return him to the Mansion to demand no changes are made, even after serious concerns about safety were raised:

Inspector General’s office: Regarding  Lt. Mannion, throughout the time period he’s been the commander of the EPU, has he ever expressed concerns to you about an operational issues through the chain of command?

Booker: I think he might have I’m trying to remember. When we had this inmate injury [sic] himself back in 2008, we gathered together a meeting to discuss inmate supervision ’cause that was a concern. We have no one from DRC on grounds to supervise these inmates. It’s all left to the DAS employee, the residence manager. And what had occurred was this inmate had to be transported, we only had one Trooper on grounds. That Trooper could not abandon his post to transport this inmate. So it was left with Bexley P.D. So the concern that we had was okay, let’s get the people around the table. Let’s talk about these issues, about supervision; what we can do about it. So we called a meeting: S/Lt. Danny Springs who was at that time over Capital Operations which includes the Statehouse, EPU and the residence; myself, Sgt. Yolder-Ma— uh, huh.. I’m trying to think…

IG: Mulder-Yeagley.

Booker: Yes. The Warden of– at Pickaway Correctional Institution, I believe is Al Lazarus. And there may have been others there. But we’re in the dining room at the Governor’s residence and we’re talking about this. We’re talking about this issue and what we can do for the security and what can we do in regards to protocols, notification; if we have someone injured, who gets the call, what do they do? What’s going on? Lt. Mannion was not a part of the meeting but he expressed concerns (inaudible) that same end. And he and the Governor departed the residence on the way to the Statehouse. While in transit, the Governor departed the residence on the way to the Statehouse. While in transit, the Governor asked questions about okay, “what’s this meeting about?” “Well, talking about the inmate program.” “Inmate program?” They turned around and came right back and the Governor talked to us about how important this inmate program was and it’s very, very important for the rehabilitation of the inmates, and he doesn’t want to see anything happen to this program. And, of course, he was not aware totally that we were talking about security and protocols. And he left and I met with him and I says, “Governor, we were talking about security issues in regards to supervision of inmates.” He said, “Well, I think the program should stay exactly the way it is.” That’s what he said. I sad, “Fine. Alright, no change. No change in the program.” I went back into the room and that’s what I told everyone there at that meeting that we’re going to keep it the way it is; that in regards to supervision the residence manager would still be responsible for the inmates.

Obviously Major Booker wouldn’t lie about such a meeting, as there are far too many people named as being part of the meeting and it’s easy to verify. So why wouldn’t Gov. Strickland remember such a dramatic turn-around on his way to the office to stop a meeting about the inmate program safety rules?

And, more importantly, why would it be so terrible to have increased safety when there are inmates involved? Clearly, contraband was being smuggled through the Governor’s mansion… but with their close proximity to alcohol, hammers, torches, razors, et cetera- Why would the Governor of Ohio focus so much attention on such a program? Just what is he hiding?

Paul Aker Goes After Kent Markus- Troopergate Timeline!

March 26th, 2010 Matt Comments off

The latest update from Paul Aker of Channel 10 in Columbus:

(The video on Channel 10′s clunky player seems to restart 1/2 way through… but the story is worth watching. Perhaps by the time you see this it has been corrected.)

Not only is Kent about 1000 lbs heavier than the picture I often post of him, but Strickland Spokesbabe Amanda Wurst in her fashionable emo glasses looks nothing like the picture I post of her. They can change their appearance, but they can’t hide!

Paul Aker: E-Mails Show Drug Sting May Have Been Stopped For Political Reasons

March 18th, 2010 Matt Comments off

Paul Aker, the talented investigative reporter from Channel 10, had a fascinating update on the 11pm news last night. This story of corruption is getting worse by the day for Gov. Strickland and Kent Markus:

Auditor Mary Taylor’s Office Investigating Unauthorized Over Time Payments in Strickland’s Administration

March 2nd, 2010 Matt Comments off

As an update to a story Paul Aker of 10 TV in Columbus broke, the Auditor’s Office will hunt down these tax dollars which state workers should have never been paid. More agencies are now involved:

As a friend of mine joked- If you are a manager of a state government office and Paul Aker gives you a call, the best thing to do is to turn in your resignation, go home, and drink lots of Draino because it is OVER.

More on Governor Ted Strickland’s Mansion Cover-Up

February 25th, 2010 Matt Comments off

Paul Aker files another fantastic report on Channel 10 and updates us as to how the committee hearings being lead by Sen. Tim Grendell are progressing:

More Corruption Details at the Governor’s Office- Inmates and Alcohol

February 24th, 2010 Matt Comments off

From Paul Aker’s report last night on Channel 10 in Columbus:

I know Strickland has health issues, but he looks extra jumpy and evasive lately. Marc Kovac posted the extended video of the press gaggle used in the report above, and I think it’s fairly obvious that Strickland knows EXACTLY why these decisions were made and what they didn’t criminals to start singing to Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.

And Randy Ludlow at The Dispatch reports today that Ohio Inspector General Thomas Charles is very interested in Strickland’s drug non-sting and what corrupt Strickland administration officials like Kent Markus are doing:

Ohio Inspector General Thomas P. Charles will investigate a decision to scuttle a planned State Highway Patrol sting to catch a courier dropping suspected drugs outside the Governor’s Residence.[...]

The inspector general said yesterday that he also might explore other matters involving the Governor’s Residence. Tobacco, which is banned in state prisons, has been found hidden in inmate work areas and investigators also discovered a bottle of amino acids in the carriage house last month.

And Kyle Sisk has picked up chatter that Team Strickland thinks much of this is being orchestrated by the Kasich campaign. Good grief:

The Kasich Camp is having a very good day today and my guess is that they may not even know it.

I’ve got it on good authority that a portion of the Strickland Team thinks that Kasich & his Kool Aid drinking crew are behind the movement {and talk to a few troopers (especially some of the “old school” types) and you will realize that it IS a growing, percolating movement} inside the current patrol amongst active troopers and outside amongst the patrol alum (especially) to start speaking out about what is happening within the Strickland Administration.

And for the MSM & others I must point out that it is the STRICKLAND administration (although lately a more accurate label might really be “Governor Kent Markus’ Administration with head crybaby for more federal money & temper tantrum throwing toddler when people are realistic about 39 mph trains/lead spokesperson: Minister Ted Strickland”) and not the Guzman administration or the Collins administration or even the Markus Administration (really the most accurate label from Jones-Kelley to today).

That the Kasich Camp is somehow behind is hilarious to me. It is the height of black helicopter paranoia.

As Kyle goes onto note, by the time this is all over, Strickland will end up wishing this was all political. The truth is, these are just hard working State Highway Patrol cops who are sick of their work and investigations being control by political appointees and hacks. They have been mistreated and are now talking to anyone who will listen.

This story is about to get infinitely more ugly.

VIDEO: Channel 10, Ted Strickland’s Drug Sting Cover Up

February 17th, 2010 Matt Comments off

I posted this story earlier, which has since been updated with video.


On Ted Strickland’s Watch, State Agencies Payed Millions in Unauthorized Overtime

February 13th, 2010 Matt Comments off

A number of times each year, Paul Aker at Channel 10 in Columbus reminds everyone what serious TV investigative journalism looks like. This is fantastic, eye-opening work!:

Isn’t it fun to watch a state bureaucrat sweat on camera? HA HA

The least that should happen in this situation is the unauthorized overtime should be paid back. Sadly, there might not be the media echo chamber to make that happen, as it isn’t a Republican administration. I look forward to the update when DAS decides what to do.

State Agencies Incredibly Wasteful, Auctions off NEW Equipment

November 24th, 2009 Matt Comments off

Paul Aker, one of the last few serious investigative reporters in Columbus, exposes what they are doing with your money in the Strickland administration:

Now I finally know where to go for a good deal on a Mac!

Paul Aker’s Report Shows Why We Don’t Need a FDA

July 10th, 2009 Matt Comments off

Because when government puts its stamp on approval on a product or service, it typically protects the manufacturer from civil liability.

Click to continue reading “Paul Aker’s Report Shows Why We Don’t Need a FDA”

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