Despite subpoenaing 11 witnesses and “inviting” four more (including the nominee), Chairman Grendell announced this morning that he’s going to call only five witnesses today.? Of those witnesses, only one of them actually has first-hand knowledge of Cathy Collins-Taylor’s level of involvement in the decision to scale back the planned tobacco raid operation at the Governor’s Mansion.
Curiously, although Grendell has frequently admonished members not to disparage the professionalism and integrity of public servants (particularly, when such “criticisms” involve Inspector General Thomas Charles), he’s spent much of the morning blasting Lt. Mannion, the head of the Governor’s protection detail.? He’s called him unprofessional and “insubordinate” all morning, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
And although Grendell subpoenaed Lt. Mannion to testify, with his witness schedule he’s denying Mannion any opportunity to be heard in these hearings.
Grendell also subpoenaed Cathy Collins-Taylor’s Chief-of-Staff who was intimately involved in her discussions and the deliberations about the planned operation at the Governor’s residence.? According to his interview transcript, he would likely corroborate much of what Collins-Taylor testified to yesterday.? Mannion, too, would be expected to be a friendly witness to her testimony.
Grendell called only four witnesses yesterday: (Ret.) Lt. Col. Costas, Retired Director of DRC Terry Collins, Ohio Homeland Security Director Earl Mack, and Cathy Collins-Taylor.? Of those four, the only witness besides the nominee herself who actually had first-hand knowledge of Cathy Collins-Taylor’s level of involvement was Terry Collins.
That means of the nine likely witnesses to testify during this two-day farce, only three, only one third of the total witnesses, that actually can testify to know to what extent Cathy Collins-Taylor was actually involved in the decision regarding the tobacco sting will testify.? Three other witnesses who also have first-hand knowledge about Collins-Taylor’s involvement (the ODPS spokewoman, ODPS Chief of Staff, and Lt. Mannion) will never get to testify.
And almost all the other witnesses who are getting to testify are only being called to bolster the credibility of I.G. Thomas Charles and (Ret.) Maj. Booker– who are also not going to be testifying.
When the Democrats on the committee have pushed back on the factual flaws of Charles’ investigation, they have been admonished by Chairman Grendell that he’s not going to allow personal attacks.? Then he calls Earl Mack to smear Josh Mandel who’s not a factor as to whether the Senate should confirm Cathy Collins-Taylor.? Meanwhile, half the folks Thomas Charles admits had first-hand knowledge about Cathy Collins-Taylor will never be heard by the committee to make room for the witnesses who want to talk about what fine people Thomas Charles and Maj. Booker are.
How is this not a complete and utter farce?? This hearing couldn’t be more unfair.? It’s spent more time trying to rehabilitating people who aren’t even testifying than it is to discuss Cathy Collins-Taylor’s qualifications and fitness to serve as Director of the ODPS.? It’s a sad joke, and the media is covering it with all the sick joy of a covering bad traffic accident.
Meanwhile several members of career law enforcement folks are being savaged by a partisan Chairman who is denying them any forum in which to defend themselves while he rhetorically spits on their uniform.
We’re seeing what happens when President Bill Harris gives Tim Grendell a blank check to use his committee gavel as a political election-year weapon.? I want to throw up.