Ohio Probe: Did Safety Officials Lie About Covert Operation?


In January, Ohio highway patrol troopers were planning a covert operation on an apparent attempt to drop off contraband, mostly likely tobacco or drugs, behind the back fence of the official residence of Gov. Ted Strickland for an inmate working there. The Columbus Dispatch says the operation never happened. Instead, troopers were sent to visit the prisoner’s wife, who was supposed to make the drop, and warn her against doing it. She didn’t.

An investigation boils down to three questions: Who made the decision to abort the planned Jan. 10 operation in favor of what law-enforcement officers dub a “knock and talk”? How and when was it made? And why? Inspector General Thomas Charles says state public safety director Cathy Collins-Taylor made the decision to avoid political embarrassment for the governor. Her sworn statements that the original operation wasn’t officially called off until late the morning of Jan. 9 by Col. David Dicken, superintendent of the State Highway Patrol, are lies, Charles says. Strickland said a close examination of the report shows that none of his three subordinates did anything wrong.

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