Earlier this week we highlighted how Strickland’s team hired a 20-something director of an Indie movie called Johnny Appleweed (no, that isn’t a typo) to run one of his divisions in the Department of Development.
And somehow while focusing on that story I missed something far worse than hiring unqualified staff.
Appointing corrupt officials.
Had Atty. Liz Bernard not resigned as a trustee of Youngstown State University, the governor’s office would, in all probability, have asked her to step down.
Why? Because of the controversy that was swirling around Bernard from the moment Gov. Ted Strickland announced Oct. 30 her appointment to succeed Dr. H.S. Wang.
On Nov. 2, this writer received a call from a veteran law enforcement official who posed the following questions: Do you know that Liz Bernard is involved with Phil Chance? Will Chance be accompanying her to YSU events and sit in the presidential suite during football games? Did the governor’s office know about Bernard and Chance?
For those readers who have forgotten, Phil Chance is a former Mahoning County sheriff who was convicted on July 13, 1999, by a federal jury of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, RICO conspiracy, obstruction of justice and two counts of extortion. He resigned as sheriff three days later.
Now, this isn’t quite as bad when he hired someone with a history of sexual harrassment to be one of the senior officials at the Ohio Department of Health, but it’s close.
Is anyone in the Governor’s office in charge of background checks? What’s going on up there? Have you guys just given up?