Tuesday, October 24, 2006

 

Blackwell kept of felon/addict on payroll

As we have noted for several days, Kenny knew he had a staffing problem of his own at the time he and his handlers launched their attack against Strickland. A much worse staffing problem.

From Joe Hallett at the Dispatch:
As state treasurer, Blackwell hired a felon and kept him on the payroll after his office discovered the man had a long record of arrests. Under Blackwell, who was treasurer from March 1994 to January 1999, Michael A. Toomer received two pay increases, and left the treasurer's office in 2002, landing in prison for the next four years.

. . .

But when the treasurer's office sought clearance for Toomer to have access to the state of Ohio Computer Center, a second check turned up numerous arrests. On Jan. 26, 1998, the Ohio Department of Public Safety denied access to Toomer, alias Glenn K. Williams.

. . .

On Feb. 3, 1998, a week after learning about Toomer's criminal record, Beth Gilger, then the treasurer's director of human services, wrote on her office stationary that "we have enough to terminate" Toomer. At the time, and for the following six weeks, Toomer could have been fired without cause, because he wasn't yet a member of the state employees union.

Blackwell said he opted not to fire Toomer on the recommendation of Gilger and the treasurer's office legal counsel. Blackwell said Toomer was an admitted drug-addict who, after completing a Florida treatment program and passing treasurer's office drug tests, showed no signs of drug usage.

"He had met the drug screening, he was willing to undergo a pattern of drug screening tests and he had a local church community that vouched for his turning his life around," Blackwell said.

Although the second background check turned up numerous arrests, Blackwell said he saw no documentation showing that Toomer actually had been convicted.

In a check of Toomer's file at the treasurer's office, The Dispatch found two records indicating that Toomer's probation had been extended following his Jan. 14, 1993 arrest for possessing cocaine.

Here's the final kicker to the story that we could see coming from a mile away (and explains a lot about Kenny's recent attacks:
In May 2002, about three months after leaving the treasurer's office, Toomer was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a girl, beginning in September 1994 when she was 7 and continuing until 2001.

Blackwell said he did not know Toomer was a child molester until yesterday. If he had had any indication that Toomer was abusing a child while an employee of the treasurer's office, Blackwell said, "He would have been history."
Hopefully, by now, everyone should see the pattern. When the right launches an apeshit attack, it is usually to cover their own "indiscretions." The lesson? Have a good oppo-research operation, but stay on message.

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