Yesterday, Cuyahoga County Nailah Byrd released her investigation of Ed Fitzgerald. First off, she deserves praise for conducting such a thorough report on her boss. Hats off to her.
Byrd’s conclusion is that “FitzGerald’s disregard of County policies regarding operating personal or County vehicles on or in the course of County business, without a valid driver’s license, is a breach of the public trust that sends the wrong message to County employees and taxpayers.”
I read the report in its entirety, and here are a few other points that stand out.
- After Fitzgerald was elected, he was required to provide an ID as part of the “onboarding” process. He actually presented his expired driver’s license.
- The Fitzgerald administration improperly destroyed the vehicle logs for the two cars assigned to his office.
- Ed Fitzgerald actually blamed the Ohio BMV. From the report:
Fitzgerald explains the BMV would not allow him to transfer his Illinois driver’s license and required he start the licensing process from the beginning, which included the written and driving test. Fitzgerald states he completed the written test and was granted a TIP but the BMV would not allow him to take the driving test on the same day as the written test. Fitzgerald states he is not sure why the BMV required he start the licensing process from the beginning…
The problem is, Ed’s statement is false. According to the BMV, the driving test is usually waived for new residents who have a valid out-of-state license.
What’s more, according to the report, the BMV records show that Ed Fitzgerald actually DID receive a new Ohio driver’s license by out-of-state conversion on June 5, 1999. It expired on his birthday in 2002, on July 10. It wasn’t until 2012 that he finally obtained a permanent driver’s license again.
So why did Ed lie to the IG’s office and say that the BMV wouldn’t let him transfer his Illinois office? Why did he try to blame to BMV for his failure to renew his license like a normal grownup?
- Fitzgerald actually told the investigators that “there was never a time when he did not have a drivers license. He merely allowed it to expire.” So, Fitzgerald’s answer was “Hey don’t say I didn’t have a license! I had one! It just just expired!”
Unreal. He still isn’t taking responsibility for this, and he wants to be governor?