Big Week in "Backgate – Gate"
The Bexley-Contraband Affair takes center stage at the statehouse this week. Ohio Governor Ted Strickland’s Public Safety director Cathy Collins-Taylor is set to testify before the senate criminal justice committee Wednesday about her decision to scuttle a planned sting at the governor’s mansion.
Acting on a tip, the Ohio Highway Patrol in January was set to bust an inmate working at the governor’s mansion. Authorities say the inmate’s wife was scheduled to drop off a “six-pack” — prison slang for either tobacco or drugs. But high-ranking officials at the patrol and/or within the Strickland administration got wind of the sting and canceled it.
Inspector General Tom Charles alleges Cathy Collins-Taylor scrapped the contraband sting to save the governor embarrassment and then lied to investigators.
Collins-Taylor denies doing anything wrong and she accuses Charles of bias. She’s going to the mat to defend herself. Despite speculation that she would withdraw her nomination for Public Safety Director (a paperwork mistake has slowed things down), she will take on Chairman Tim Grendell and Tom Charles’ report at the hearing.
She’s drawing support. There is a facebook group urging supporters to contact senators.
It does not happen often at the Ohio Statehouse but it will be must-see-TV 10am Wednesday.
Of course, we’ll have a wrap-up Friday on Columbus on the Record.