From The Columbus Dispatch:
FELON ON PAYROLL
Blackwell also had problem worker
GOP gubernatorial nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell, who has questioned the judgment of Democrat Ted Strickland for employing an aide who committed a misdemeanor, once had a felon on his payroll.
It is the hope of THE DISPATCH that you read the title, believe that Blackwell did exactly what he has accused Mr. Strickland of, and then move on, believing that the issue has been resolved and Mr. Blackwell was just practicing "politics as usual" -- WRONG!
As state treasurer, Blackwell unknowingly hired a man with a long record of arrests and kept him on the payroll even after his office discovered the man's record and brought it to Blackwell's attention.
Records obtained from the treasurer's office show that Toomer was hired Nov. 17, 1997, as a $10.32-per-hour mail clerk/ messenger. On his application, Toomer indicated no felony offenses, and a State Highway Patrol record check at that time turned up none.
But when the treasurer's office sought clearance for Toomer to have access to the Ohio Computer Center, a second check turned up numerous arrests. On Jan. 26, 1998, the Department of Public Safety denied access to Toomer, alias Glenn K. Williams.
On Feb. 3, 1998, a week after learning of Toomer's criminal record, Beth Gilger, then the treasurer's director of human resources, wrote on office stationery that "we have enough to terminate" Toomer. At the time, and for the following six weeks, Toomer could have been fired without cause because he wasn't yet a member of the state employees union.
Blackwell said he decided not to fire the man on the recommendation of Gilger and the treasurer's office legal counsel. Blackwell said the man was an admitted drug addict who, after completing a Florida treatment program and passing treasurer's office drug tests, showed no signs of drug usage.
"He had met the drug screening, he was willing to undergo a pattern of drug-screening tests and he had a local church community that vouched for his turning his life around," Blackwell said.
What did Mr. Strickland do once he found out that he had a guy CONVICTED of exposing his sexual organs to little children? He rewarded him with a trip for two to Italy (the other of the "two" who went on the trip was none other than Ted Strickland himself!)
While I question Mr. Blackwell's decision, there is absolutely no comparison between what he did: give a guy who messed around with drugs a second chance, and what Ted Strickland did: seemingly reward a lying sexual pervert with a paid vacation for two!
One of the criticisms of Ken Blackwell is that he is a hater who is judgmental and self-righteous. Well, this incident pretty much blows that lie out of the water. Mr. Blackwell has not lied about the incident nor did he reward bad behavior.
It is the Democrat Party you will remember who have taken up the defense of the criminal over the victim more often than not and it is the Democrat Party which endlessly decries the treatment of ex-cons (voting rights, hiring, etc...) Here we have a ultra-conservative Republican helping out a guy with some prior problems and the liberal media use his compassion to try and crucify him.
In May 2002, about three months after leaving the treasurer's office, Toomer was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a girl, beginning in September 1994 when she was 7 and continuing until 2001.
Blackwell said he did not know Toomer was a child molester until yesterday. If he had had any indication that Toomer was abusing a child while an employee of the treasurer's office, Blackwell said, "He would have been history."
There is obviously no way that we can test Mr. Blackwell on his claim of what he'd do, but Ted Strickland has already failed the test. He has already chosen his political career over the safety of Ohio's children. Add this with Mr. Strickland's stated belief that us poor commoners shalt not question scientists and that sex between adults and children just might be cool and we have a pattern of poor judgment and beliefs that are far out of the mainstream of Ohio (and maybe even California!!!!)
The Ohio media has made it quite clear that they will protect their chosen candidate, even to the determent of your children. I suggest that subscribers let them know just how much that angers the good people of Ohio.
UPDATE 1: Dave over at NixGuy.com makes a couple of great points on this story. Joe Hallett's skirts were all ruffeled when the Strickland story was first explored and now he turns to this? I also suspect that black voters will notice that Mr. Hallett had no problem defending the white sex pervert but pilloring the black one!
UPDATE 2: Speaking of how elected officials have handled drug abuse in their offices, Democrat Sherrod Brown doesn't exactly have a stellar record himself (check out Weapons of Mass Discussion & BizzyBlog).