Back in November, a day after being elected Governor, John Kasich announced that Beth Hansen, Tim Keen and Wayne Struble would be taking on the roles of Chief of Staff, Director of the Office of Budget and Management and Director of Policy respectively. At the time, Hansen and Struble both worked on the Kasich campaign and Keen was working as a senior policy adviser to Mary Taylor in the Auditor’s office.
Dispatch stories from that day show the Governor indicating that this team, along with Ben Kanzeg from his campaign, would begin working on the transition immediately.
Kasich said Hansen, Keen, Struble and Ben Kanzeg, a deputy policy director on the campaign, will meet with John Haseley, Strickland’s chief of staff, and J. Pari Sabety, his budget director.
The Governor’s transition team is typically paid from a special fund set aside specifically for the transition. We requested the names and salaries of the individuals being paid from this fund (see document below) and the information shows that Hansen, Struble and Kanzeg – along with a number of other individuals – were indeed paid from this fund as expected.
Surprsingly, Tim Keen does not show up on this list. And neither does Mary Taylor, who also has been working on transition activities.
Now it makes sense that Governor Kasich would want to keep people off of this list. He not only ran his campaign on the promise to cut government spending but he also promised his transition would be funded with private money. So it’s obviously in Kasich’s best interest to make it appear as though his transition team is spending as little as money as possible.
The problem, however, is that Mary Taylor and Tim Keen were, according to multiple people familiar with the transition, working full time on transition-related activites for the past few months while still being on the Auditor’s office payroll.
There are many examples of Inspector General Charles investigating individuals for doing other work on state time. And if it turns out that Taylor and Keen have indeed been working on the transition instead of on work related to the Auditor’s office, we fully expect to see Randy Meyer – the newly appointed Inspector General – to investigate this matter despite the fact that, prior to being appointed IG, he was Mary Taylor’s chief investigator at the Auditor’s office.
It also seems worth a look by the new Auditor. According to Jo Ingles, newly sworn in Auditor Dave Yost promised his first task as Auditor would be to audit his own office.
Might I suggest that Taylor and Keen’s time logs top that list, Mr. Yost?
Here’s the list of names and salaries we received from OBM: