Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich has selected state Inspector General Thomas Charles to be his public-safety director, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Charles, 68. would replace Thomas Stickrath, who took over the troubled agency after the Ohio Senate declined to confirm former Director Cathy Collins-Taylor. The appointment of Charles, whose wife and son are members of the State Highway Patrol, also could signal the selection of a new patrol superintendent.
Charles’ office has produced four reports that were critical of patrol Col. David Dicken and others in the Department of Public Safety for their efforts, including a decision to scuttle a patrol plan to catch a courier dropping off contraband for pickup by an inmate working at the governor’s residence. The report on the aborted sting operation concluded that Collins-Taylor lied under oath, which she denied; that Dicken’s account was not credible; and that others weren’t telling the truth either. The coming appointment drew a critical tweet from Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern: “So now we know why IG Tom Charles used the job as chief witch hunter. His payday has arrived.”