If there’s any union the Ohio Republican Party is willing to listen to, it’s the Fraternal Order of Police.? Just now the Ohio F.O.P. just issued a major endorsement in support of Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor while criticizing Ohio Inspector General Thomas Charles’ embattled report.

The Columbus Dispatch’s Mark Niquette (what ever happened to that Randy Ludlow fella?) has a scanned copy of the letter up on their Daily Briefing blog.? The F.O.P. letter states:

“The FOP was surprised, to say the least, when Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles stated that Director Collins-Taylor ‘did not tell the truth about her decision’ to shut down a planned operation at or near the Governor’s home in January 2010.? We have looked at the IG’s report along with transcripts of the interviews and related emails and are very disturbed at the selected use of emails by the IG to make his case.? As law enforcement officers we know that during an investigation you must look at all evidence. A fair and unbiased conclusion will not result if we pick and choose what relevant information is used. It is obvious to us that a strong possibility exists that this investigation and report were not done in a fair and unbiased manner.” (emphasis added.)

The rest of the letter details e-mails, some of which were first discussed on Plunderbund months ago, that shows that despite Thomas Charles’ assertion that the decision to scale back the investigation was made on a Friday night, e-mails from other Ohio Highway Patrol officials corroborate Cathy Collins-Taylor’s statements that Charles had alleged were “lies.”? These are e-mails, mind you, that the F.O.P. says that Charles obtained in his investigation but conveniently ignores their very existence in his report.

In fact, the F.O.P. points out that Collins-Taylor’s own e-mails from that evening corroborate her statements as true.? In addition, other e-mails make clear that at the time the officials believed the decision to scale back the operation was not, as Charles alleged, even made by Collins-Taylor but by Highway Patrol Col. David Dicken– just as Dicken himself told the Inspector General in his interview.

The F.O.P. also chides the Inspector General over the “Case of the Missing Statute.”

“The FOP will also point out that contrary to the IG’s report that states ‘The statutes that govern the DPS and the Patrol are silent regarding the DPS Director’s authority to control Patrol investigations.’ ORC 5502.011 (B) says in part ‘The Director also may authorize and approve investigations to be conducted by any of the department’s divisions‘, of which the Ohio State Patrol is part of.? We point this out because the IG has stated that the Director may have committed some type of obstruction charge should she have made the decision, therefore giving her some type of motive for lying.”

The letter is signed by Mark Drum, the Legislative Chairman of the Ohio F.O.P. and encloses a copy of each one of the e-mails the letter references.? It was sent to every member of the Ohio Senate today.

Suddenly, things just got a whole lot more interesting…