Officer: Sting at Ohio Governor’s Home Kept Quiet

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A retired State Highway Patrol officer says officials called off a drug sting at the Ohio governor’s residence to avoid scrutiny, not for safety reasons.

Maj. Robert Booker told a Senate committee on Wednesday that authorities had cleared the Jan. 9 operation, and that it was aborted “to keep things quiet.”

State authorities say a woman planned to hide contraband behind the mansion for pick up by an inmate on work detail. They chose to warn her and cancel the bust, partly out of concern for Gov. Ted Strickland’s safety. Booker says the contraband was drugs, not tobacco as officials have said.

Democrats on the committee stormed out before Booker’s testimony, saying it interferes with a state watchdog investigation.

Booker was relieved of investigative duties in late January and later retired. (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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