State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) is the Ranking Member of the Ohio Senate Judiciary-Criminal Justice Committee and has issued this statement in response to our reporting on potentially false and misleading testimony by the Troopers and former Superintendent of the Highway Patrol to that Committee:
?Racial intolerance should never be tolerated anywhere, especially in a distinguished law enforcement agency like the Highway Patrol. That?s why the Democrats on the committee felt it was important to question former Superintendent Richard Collins about the incident involving a trooper who dressed up as a Klansman.
?Your report also highlights another concern that I raised with the chairman of the committee. On March 22, I sent Senator Timothy Grendell a letter urging him to have the committee?s hearings properly transcribed. I said in the letter, ?Exercising your subpoena power without proper arrangements to transcripe the session, in which you have been swearing in witnesses, is inappropriate as there is no record of what these witnesses have said to hold them accountable.? Unfortunately, the chairman said it was not required and refused to hire a stenographer.
?In addition, the committee should have respected a request by the Inspector General to delay further testimony until April 9th. If the committee is truly interested in getting to the facts, we should let the Inspector General conduct a thorough, professional and independent investigation without interference.?
I am still awaiting a possible response from State Senator Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland) as well. Sen. Smith was the person who asked Collins specifically about the prior KKK photo incident involving an on-duty and uniformed Trooper.