The Wheeling Intelligencer serves more than Wheeling, West Virginia. They also cover a good chunk of Eastern Ohio and devote a good chunk of their paper to covering Ohio politics.
So it’s my guess that the people of Eastern Ohio won’t be too thrilled with their state government after reading this ravaging:
A culture of corruption seems to have taken over the Ohio Department of Public Safety – the very agency Buckeye State residents rely on to protect them from wrongdoing.
Scandal after scandal has been reported from the agency. Several misdeeds involved attempts to cover up other misbehavior.
Late Wednesday, two Department of Public Safety attorneys were forced out of their jobs. One, Joshua Engel, was the agency’s top lawyer. He was fired, according to public safety Director Thomas Stickrath. The other attorney, Pam Bolton, was allowed to resign.
Engel, with Bolton’s help, has been secretly monitoring e-mail messages sent by agency employees, it was reported. For the past year, he has instructed department technology managers to route copies of the e-mails to him. In particular, Engel wanted to see e-mails sent from employees to the state’s inspector general and newspaper reporters.
Clearly, an exhaustive investigation of the affair is needed. According to published reports, the state Ethics Commission and prosecutors in Franklin County are looking into it. The Department of Public Safety also is examining the situation.
But what faith can Ohioans have in the department’s internal probe? Sadly, none. During the past year or so, evidence of several attempts to cover up misbehavior has surfaced. Why would anyone in their right mind have any faith in an agency that, again, seems to have a culture of corruption.
That needs to change. Right now. Ohioans pay very well for the right to have faith in the state’s top law enforcement agency. As matters stand, they do not.