We wrote a few weeks back about Inspector General Randy Meyer and the surprising shortage of investigations coming out of his office.
We also discussed his attendance at a GOP fundraiser and his hiring of Carl Enslen, the son-in-law of Kasich’s close advisor Jo Ann Davidson, as Deputy Inspector General. All of these events seem to show that Meyer, despite the non-partisan requirements of his office, is more concerned with politics and pleasing the guy who appointed him (John Kasich) than with carrying out the duties of his office in a non-partisan fashion.
Recent evidence seems to provide further support for this conclusion.
WKYC in Cleveland reported today that Meyers is also under fire for ignoring requests to investigate Kasich’s use of the state plane and for the Governor’s decision to award a $15 million lottery contract to the highest, instead of the lowest, bidder.
And anyone harboring doubt about Meyer’s purely political focus will likely find it no longer lingering after hearing about last week’s Coingate announcement.
On Friday Enslen, speaking on behalf of Meyer, announced that the IG would be shelving the investigation of the 2005 “Coingate” scandal involving Ohio’s workers’ compensation system, 50 million bucks in rare-coins and collectibles and the theft of $13 million by Tom Noe, who is now serving time for the crime.
There have always been rumors that other prominent Republicans were involved in the scam, but the IG’s report was expected to help bring some proof and/or closure. Unfortunately the actions – or should I say inactions – of the last two Inspectors General have actually increased doubt and engendered more questions than answers.
Instead of closing out the Coingate investigation, IG Tom Charles delayed it, choosing to instead pursue partisan attacks against Governor Strickland.
And IG Meyer’s decision to shelf the investigation, when seen through the lens of his other partisan activities, now seems to prove that the IG’s office has uncovered information no one in the Republican party wants to see made public.
In a piece from today’s Toledo Blade, Chairman Redfern covers all the bases on the absolute ridiculousness of this decision:
“It’s just laughable on its face,” he said. “The director of public safety was inspector general. Walk across the hall and talk to Tom Charles. I don’t accept the reason that there’s no one left to do the case report.”
He said Mr. Kasich should demand that Mr. Meyer issue a final report. Mr. Redfern said he is eager to learn whether other public figures were involved in decisions to turn over BWC money to Noe, a major GOP fund-raiser on the state and national stages.
“How can the inspector general just not have an opinion on the biggest investigation of the last 40 or 50 years?” Mr. Redfern asked.
Amen, Mr. Chairman.
In related news, on the same day the IG announced his plan to ditch the investigation into the theft of money from an investment coin scandal, the Ways & Means Committee of the Ohio House announced it would hold hearings on a bill designed to exempt the purchase of investment coins from sales taxes.
Hearings will be held tomorrow at 3:30 PM in Statehouse Room 114 for HB 394, the bill sponsored by Rep. Ron Maag (R-Salem Township) that would “exempt from sales and use taxes the sale or use of investment metal bullion and coins.”