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Four More Joe the Plumber Snoops Get Their Wrists Slapped

The Columbus Dispatch writes that four more Ohio senior managers were "punished" for engaging in illegal and unethical searches on Joe Wurzelbacher. As Helen Jones-Kelley before them, instead of being fired, they were suspended without pay.

Jan Allen, acting agency director, announced yesterday that deputy child-support director Doug Thompson and assistant agency director Fred Williams would be placed on unpaid leave Monday.

Thompson will be suspended for four weeks at a loss of about $7,565 in pay, and Williams will lose about $4,434 in salary during a two-week suspension.

Paul Fraunholtz, deputy director of family stability, and Judi Cicatiello, deputy director of unemployment compensation, received written reprimands for their conduct.

Rejecting Republican calls for her dismissal, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland suspended agency director Helen Jones-Kelley on Thursday for a month without pay. She will lose about $11,828 in salary...

The four disciplined employees also will receive professional-development counseling, and all agency employees will receive training on protecting the confidentiality of personal information, Allen said.

Jones-Kelly also was cited by Charles for misusing her state e-mail account to help raise funds for Obama's presidential campaign. She was suspended with pay on Nov. 7 for the offense after The Dispatch uncovered the e-mails.

Republicans remain upset that Strickland ignored their pleas to fire Jones-Kelley. "I'm just outraged," said Senate President Bill M. Harris, R-Ashland.

"It's obvious she has lied to me and the governor and the media as to why these checks were done," Harris said. "Prior directors never did such things and said they would fire anybody who did.

"It's just frustrating as the devil."

Jones-Kelley has lost her credibility with lawmakers and her own employees, Harris said. "What is the standard being set? If you let the person in charge off for doing these things, how do you turn around and fire others" for the same offense?

That's the rub. You don't fire others for doing the same things, unless, of course, they're Republicans. Only then are their activities firing offenses as State Senator Tim Grendell points out:

State Sen. Tim Grendell, a Chesterland Republican, is among the many Republicans who are openly angry.

"She should be fired," Grendell said. "This is the party that every time a Republican stubbed their toe for the past four years they screamed, 'Culture of corruption... How can you allow the public trust to be abused this way?' And now you've got someone who breached the public trust and misused her public authority and public property. She doesn't deserve her agency director's job."

But Governor Ted Strickland lets her and the others keep their jobs without batting a hypocritical eyelash.


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Comments (13)

"Hello....... McFly....."</... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

"Hello....... McFly....."


http://www.aclu.org/

Meanwhile ...Four ... (Below threshold)

Meanwhile ...

Four employees of Verizon who snooped into The One's cell phone account were fired.

For the record - Verizon got it right.

We the public should never,... (Below threshold)
Tammy:

We the public should never, ever shut up about it until the whole lot of them are fired, even if it takes the next four years to do it.

I would also add that I thi... (Below threshold)
Tammy:

I would also add that I think if Joe decides to sue them in their professional capacity that will facilitate the decision to terminate them. You know the government of Ohio will be more interested in CYA procedures that saving the jobs of these scummy people.

<a href="http://www.aclu... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

http://www.aclu.org/

I know, PL. Nice of them to stand up for Mr. Wurzelbacher on this issue.

"ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link said, "Governor Strickland must not delay in taking immediate action to guarantee there will be no further violation of Ohioans' privacy. He must mandate that every department head in the state have a privacy protection plan that they implement and are accountable for. The Ohio General Assembly should then pass legislation creating permanent statutory safeguards. While the plight of Mr. Wurzelbacher may have placed the spotlight on this troubling issue, we must remember that millions of other Ohioans' information is still at the mercy of political whims and curiosity and must be secured now."

[snip]

The ACLU of Ohio first spoke out about the invasion of Mr. Wurzelbacher's privacy after it was revealed Helen Jones-Kelly, director of Ohio's Department of Job & Family Services, authorized a check of his information in state databases without any legitimate reason to do so. She stated to the press that it was common practice for employees to check the information of any person who is in a news headline, such as lottery winners. Ms. Jones-Kelly has since been placed on administrative leave on an unrelated matter."

Joe the Plumber® will get h... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Joe the Plumber® will get his revenge because all this publicity will be good for his upcoming album and book sales.

Say, isn't this along the s... (Below threshold)
dooz:

Say, isn't this along the same lines as the charges against the Governor of Alaska and her treatment of the head of the state police?

Can you say, "double-standard"?

----

Okay, here's how this works:

1. Demand that the Governor fire these people. If he won't,

2. Fire him (and everyone in his party) at the next election.

NOTE TO OHIO VOTERS: You do NOT have to vote Democrat. There are other lines on the ballot. You ARE allowed to dump the sleaze-balls and idiots. (Oh, and btw, your alderman does NOT have any right to know how you vote.)

Fine for the first step. Ne... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Fine for the first step. Next needs to be legal action. This was unconscionable behavior, regardless of party affiliation.

Just a slap on the wrist doesn't negate
such behavior, an example needs to be made, in the hope of deterring future malfeasance.
Given the current climate, though, I don't hold out a lot of hope for THAT.

parthenon - "I know, PL... (Below threshold)
Marc:

parthenon - "I know, PL. Nice of them to stand up for Mr. Wurzelbacher on this issue."

Um... wow, the aclu issued a press release. Color me unimpressed at their CYA routine.

If they meant what they claim they would offer him free legal representation like they have so many others.

'Til then screw'em.

They'll get their wrists sl... (Below threshold)

They'll get their wrists slapped today, then they'll be rewarded later when nobody is still paying attention.
http://rightklik.blogspot.com/

Jason, your self-pimping of... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Jason, your self-pimping of your blog by adding the url to each comment is more than tiresome. The url is part of your name, if anyone really cares to know.

Yes, Parthenon, the ACLU st... (Below threshold)

Yes, Parthenon, the ACLU still does good work, but that doesn't negate the assault on other issues of common decency that they take a hard left stance on. I've always said not to throw the baby out with the bath water in regards to the ACLU; just that they must rethink some of their priorities. Just like unions still doing some good work, they use it as a cover for all the other crap they pull.

Not only should she be fire... (Below threshold)
Frank Taylor:

Not only should she be fired. If she committed a criminal offence, she should be prosecuted.
Joe should sue her along with the State Of Ohio for big bucks




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