After the FitzGerald campaign held a press conference this afternoon on Governor Kasich’s refusal to answer questions surrounding the sudden resignation of Lt. Governor Mary Taylor’s Chief of Staff and her executive assistant, Republicans issued a false attack on FitzGerald.
This misleading, desperate attack only raises more questions about what the Republicans are trying to distract reporters from in Taylor’s office, and why Kasich allowed the Lt. Governor’s questionable and incompetent behavior to continue for three years unchecked.
2009: A complaint was filed by a coworker against Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner employee McCollom; Ed FitzGerald is NOT in County Government. At the time FitzGerald was serving as Mayor of Lakewood, which was named the Best Place to Raise Your Kids in Ohio that year.
2010: The County government settles the complaint; FitzGerald is still serving as Mayor of Lakewood.
January 2011: FitzGerald assumes office as County Executive and immediately begins cleaning up the Medical Examiner’s office – an epicenter of corruption under the former County government
February 2011: FitzGerald dismisses the former Medical Examiner who oversaw the corrupt work environment
March 2011: McCollom assumes the “office’s day-to-day operations” for just two months while FitzGerald searches for new, outside leadership in the ME’s office. At the time, FitzGerald said of the ME’s office “It’s gotten very divisive down there, accusations are flying. It’s important that we clear the air and we make sure we establish a professional work environment and the important work they do gets done, and that’s why we are bringing in someone from the outside.”
November 2013: Cuyahoga County ME Office receives national award for Heroin Initiative. Governor Kasich had yet to take substantive action on the heroin crisis.
March 2010: Plain Dealer reports that Taylor’s “work schedule is almost untraceable”: “The fact that she admittedly spends as much time working away from her main Columbus office as she is there has only fueled speculation that Ohioans had elected a slacker. She doesn’t document her work hours…And she can’t tell you how much time she spends working here or there. Her work schedule is almost untraceable, and that’s how Taylor seems to like it.” [Plain Dealer, 3/7/2010]
December 2011: Taylor gets caught using state plane for courtesy flights: “But on three of Taylor’s four trips this year (for appearances at businesses and to give speeches to chambers of commerce in Ohio) the plane flew to Akron-Canton Airport to either pick her up or drop her off…Last week, aides to Kasich and Taylor said the lieutenant governor did nothing wrong but that she wrote the checks to ‘remove any doubt.'” [Columbus Dispatch, 12/19/2011]
December 2011: Taylor dolled out $216,000 in political patronage jobs: “While most Governors employ ‘regional liaisons’ around the state, few if any Lt. Governors have ever done so. Ms. Taylor, however, has employed at least four such ‘regional liaisons’ at a cost to taxpayers of over $216,000 per year in salaries alone. Since liaisons are often described as a Governor’s ‘political eyes and ears’ around the state, it is unclear why a Lt. Governor would need or think she was entitled to ‘her own’ political patronage jobs.” [Innovation Ohio, 12/20/2011]
June 2013: Despite being appointed by Kasich as the Head of the Department of Insurance, Taylor grossly overestimates insurance cost increases: “But insurance experts and advocates for more comprehensive coverage counter that the Ohio Department of Insurance used confusing and misleading information to arrive at that conclusion. They say the department’s data make it impossible to even tell the price of actual premiums for Ohioans…Outside groups trying to replicate or better understand Taylor’s figures said they found it impossible and questioned some of the figures in the study.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/8/2013]
August 2013: Taylor grossly overestimates insurance cost increases again: “Just a few days after Ohio Lt. Gov. and state Insurance Director Mary Taylor issued a controversial report claiming Obamacare would increase some Ohioans’ insurance costs by 41 percent, the Kasich-Taylor re-election team was using that same report to bolster their campaign.” [Columbus Dispatch, 8/6/2013]
May 2014: Taylor gets caught lying about insurance premium increases for a third time: “While almost no one is pleased with price hikes, these would be relatively moderate when compared with double-digit premium hikes in years before the act took effect. This runs counter to an announcement Thursday by Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor that individual rates would go up by 13 percent on average and small-group business rates by 11 percent.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/30/2014]
June 6, 2014: After allegations that Taylor’s Chief of Staff Laura Johnson was working on the campaign on the taxpayer’s dime led to the discovery of timesheet “irregularities,” Johnson and her assistant suddenly resign – the latter citing “unhealthy, hostile” working conditions. The Kasich administration announces the resignations in a Friday news dump and refuses to provide additional information.
June 10, 2014: Five days later, the Kasich administration has still failed to answer any questions regarding what the former employee meant when she described the administration as a hostile work environment or elaborate on what an administration spokesman described only as “irregularities” in the two employees’ schedules.