The Columbus Dispatch wrote an editorial a few days ago that hit on an important aspect of the Troopergate scandal currently facing Governor Strickland.
Since Strickland failed to do his constitutional duty and send his appointees in front of the State Senate for approval, he has put his Public Safety appointee, Cathy Collins-Taylor, the woman with the ability to break the scandal wide open, in a precarious position.
If the governor’s office had followed confirmation procedure on Collins-Taylor’s appointment, by now the state senators might have concerns about her performance, but her position wouldn’t be at risk. There are important questions about how and why this sting operation was canceled, and senators should ask them during the upcoming confirmation hearings.
Since the Governor’s Chief Counsel, Kent Markus, did his communicating on the phone, with texts only telling us calls were made, and since the Patrol’s entire strategy changed after the calls, Collins-Taylor is going to be obligated to detail those discussions to a level satisfactory to the Senate if she wants any hope of being confirmed. Of course, Collins-Taylor will be under major pressure to only give up the most minimal bits of information in order to appease the press and not throw anyone under the bus. But I’d find it hard to believe the Senate will take too kindly to such obvious politization of the process.
In the meantime we have to wait and see about a few other things. Specifically, whether the Administration will hand over documents to the IG regarding the situation at 770 Broad Street or if the IG must go to court to obtain them. If the Governor’s office tries to protect their files, we’ll have yet another indication of wrongdoing on the 30th floor, something that will surely gain attention from the media.
Additionally, it’s my understanding that next Troopergate hearings will reconvene on or around April 15th. Chairman Grendell has so far done a fantastic job of working to get to the bottom of an issue that’s very important to the law enforcement community and to the very fabric of state government – specifically, the abuse of elected office to manipulate criminal investigations.
One thing is clear, the longer this drags on, the worse it will end up for Governor Strickland.