On January 10th, 2012, Beth Trombold applied for a job as commissioner on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Her application letter said “My political party affiliation is Republican.” We printed the letter here last month.
Party affiliation is important because state law requires that no more than three of the five PUCO commissioners come from the same political party.
Trombold didn’t get the job. Kasich instead chose to appoint Republican State Rep. Lynn Slaby, using up the last of the three Republican slots.
Almost exactly one year later, we were the first to report that Ms. Trombold was again on the list for an empty seat on the commission. But because three Republicans were already serving, the seat was reserved for a Democrat or Independent.
This time Ms. Trombold was calling herself an “Independent”.
The PD asked her about the change: “Trombold said she miscast herself as a Republican when applying to fill last year’s vacancy”. “In hindsight, it’s probably not the most accurate description”, said Trombold.
I’ll give Beth the benefit of the doubt and assume at least ONE of the two answers she gave was actually true. But that means the other was false i.e. she lied – sorry, “miscast herself” – on one of her job applications.
I don’t know what your employer is like, but I can tell you for a fact: if my employer knew a potential candidate lied on his/her job application, that candidate would be disqualified immediately.
John Kasich not only knows about the lie, it seems he cheerfully endorses it through this appointment.
Kasich has stacked the deck with his PUCO appointments, choosing climate change deniers and political hacks who dream about killing solar energy projects and gutting energy efficiency standards. And now he’s trying to squeeze another Republican on the commission with his latest appointment.
The Ohio Democratic Party has threatened to sue over the likely-illegal appointment of Trombold. And I certainly hope they do.
The spirit of the law is important. The letter even more so. In our opinion, Kasich has ignored both by appointing Trombold to the PUCO.