Saturday, November 08, 2008

Ohio State official on leave during investigation

This better not end up being a paid leave either. This witch needs to be FIRED not a have a paid vacation!

Strickland puts director on leave in fundraising probeJob and Family

Services chief sidelined during investigation
Friday, November 7, 2008
11:18 PM

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland placed the director of the Department of Job and Family Services on paid leave today for possibly using a state computer and e-mail account for political fund-raising.

E-mails obtained today by The Dispatch show that Helen Jones-Kelley's e-mail account was used to assist the presidential campaign of Democrat Barack Obama in raising money.

Strickland asked Inspector General Thomas P. Charles to investigate the unconfirmed" matter and named Jan Allen, secretary of the governor's cabinet, as acting agency director.

The state e-mails show Jones-Kelley provided the Obama campaign with the names of 17 potential Dayton-area contributors ahead of the candidate's July 11 appearance

In July 8, the director offered to write a $2,500 check to the campaign to join Obama at his appearance, volunteered to contact would-be contributors and offered to help arrange an event for Michelle Obama, the candidate's wife.

At least one of the potential donors identified by Jones-Kelley contributed $9,600 to Obama for America and the Obama Victory Fund on July 31, according to Federal Election Commission records. Jones-Kelley also gave $2,500.

The e-mails that led to Jones-Kelley's suspension came to light in response to a public-records request by The Dispatch, said Keith Dailey, Strickland's press secretary. The newspaper requested the records Oct. 26, before Obama was elected president Tuesday.

The inspector general already was investigating if job and family services computers were used illegally to obtain confidential information on "Joe the Plumber," a Toledo-area man popularized by Republican John McCain.

The e-mails about the Dayton event show Jones-Kelley corresponded with Michael O'Neil, who is listed as an Obama fundraiser. O'Neil did not answer a telephone number he listed in his e-mails. Jones-Kelley could not be located for comment. Obama's Ohio campaign spokesman did not return calls.

Jones-Kelley, who lives in Dayton, was director of the Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services before her appointment as state director by Democrat Strickland.

Other e-mails showed Jones-Kelley receiving information of a partisan political nature through her state e-mail account. One e-mail included an attached donation form for the Obama campaign.

Strickland administration polices forbid the use of state time, equipment and property for election-related purposes. Jones-Kelley sent a memo to all of her employees on Oct. 21 reminding them of the prohibition.

Meanwhile, the State Highway Patrol is providing security for Jones-Kelley because of numerous threats she has received regarding her agency's checks into Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber."

"We are involved in a protection detail for her, but the specifics of the detail I couldn't go into simply because of the nature of it. , said Sgt. Timothy Karwatske. Strickland's office requested the security, he said.

After The Dispatch reported that state child-support computers were checked for potential information on Wurzelbacher, Jones-Kelley said checks are made on newsworthy figures that may have come into some money.

She later disclosed that state computers also were used to conduct checks to determine if Wurzelbacher was receiving welfare assistance or owed unemployment compensation taxes. Legislative Republicans suggested the checks were politically motivated, a charge denied by Strickland and Jones-Kelley.

Ohio Republican Party Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine said in a news release yesterdaythat the Strickland administration now presides over an apparent "political party machine."

"The Strickland administration has already demonstrated a profound and reckless
disregard for personal privacy, and now they're apparently abusing government
resources to raise political contributions," DeWine said.

Wuzelbacher became a national fixture when he questioned Obama about his tax policies, leading McCain to frequently mention "Joe the Plumber" during the candidates' final debate on Oct. 15. The state checks on Wurzelbacher began the next day.

The Dispatch also revealed that Bureau of Motor Vehicles computers were improperly tapped for information on Wurzelbacher. Investigations have placed the blame on a Toledo police clerk, a state contractor and a Cuyahoga County child-support worker.

1 comment:

Grace Explosion said...

Wow. The thugocracy is in place. These zealots have our information, basically, and will tap it in order to be used against us in a "court of Obama" in thugocracy attack.

This is America?? These people are creating a thugocracy.

I'm literally believing a constitutional secession from the thugocracy and soon coming dictatorship (it seems) to form a new nation and get outta this "Dodge".