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