Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald made news today when it was revealed that, following a 911 call from a witness, police found him parked in a car with a woman who wasn’t his wife at 4:30AM in 2012.
Fitzgerald made statements to Henry Gomez of The Plain Dealer about what happened that night, and also gave explanations during a press conference this afternoon. Thanks to Marc Kovac of Ohio Capital Blog, you can view the press conference in the videos at the bottom of this post. The problem is, they don’t add up and even contradict the story given by the other driver that night, who happens to be Fitzgerald’s own aide.
1. During the press conference, Fitzgerald said he and a second driver volunteered to be designated drivers because they were native to Ohio. According to another report by Gomez, the other driver was Nate Kelly, Fitzgerald’s deputy chief of staff for economic development.
Ed said that they were leaving a location in downtown Cleveland and headed for the delegation’s hotels, which were either in Westlake, or perhaps even further west into Lorain County in Avon Lake. Naturally, you would get on I-90 West in downtown for the drive out west.
When questioned about how the other car could have gotten separated and lost on an empty I-90 at 4:30AM, Fitzgerald responded that the other car got lost before they even got on the freeway.
We are expected to believe that a man who works in downtown Cleveland doesn’t know how to get on I-90?
2. Indeed, Nate Kelly told The Plain Dealer that he did NOT get lost.
FitzGerald, Kelly and the delegates were together at a West 25th Street bar in Cleveland into the early hours of Saturday, Kelly said. Kelly said one member of the group was causing a delay in leaving, so he volunteered to stay behind with the delegation.
FitzGerald and Grehan left together first, he recalled, and Kelly later left with about four or five delegates in his larger car. Kelly said his front-seat passenger knew which hotel they were headed to and that Kelly dropped the delegates off without getting lost.
Kelly, the other driver, tells a story that directly contradicts what Fitzgerald has told everyone.
- The two groups did NOT leave together. There was NO intention for the two cars to stick together, because Kelly clearly stayed behind.
- Kelly does NOT mention making any phone calls to figure out directions.
- Kelly said he volunteered to stay behind, so Fitzgerald would have known this.
3. Kelly says that one person was delaying the group from leaving. If the other delegates were all ready to leave, why did Fitzgerald leave with only one passenger?
4. A reporter asked Fitzgerald if he could produce his phone records to verify his story that he pulled over to get back together with the other car. He responded that no, there wouldn’t be phone records, because he wasn’t the one making the calls. The other members of the party were making the calls.
A guest from Ireland was making the calls to verify directions and figure out how to get the two cars back together? Not Fitzgerald, who was actually, you know, driving and knows the area? The foreign lady, in a city she doesn’t know, is coordinating directions to reunite the two groups?
If they weren’t using his phone, whose were they using? Hers? A cell phone from Ireland in a foreign country?
5. Why did Fitzgerald pull into a secluded parking lot? Assuming he got off the freeway at Crocker Rd, he bypassed parking lots for a BP station, a convenience store and two hotels. Per Gomez’s article, “trees and other lush landscaping hide much of the large parking lot from the street.”
This story clearly won’t be going away. Perhaps new information can clear up these contradictions and unanswered questions.