Tom Charles, Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS), will be quitting today.
We contacted DPS for more information but they have yet to return our call or put out an official statement on the matter. It appears we weren’t the only ones taken by surprise.
Sources familiar with DPS claim Charles has been asked to leave by Governor Kasich after some recent disagreements. John Born, currently the Superintendent of the Highway Patrol, may be a likely replacement.
Prior to serving as DPS Director, Charles served as Ohio Inspector General and earlier worked for the Ohio Highway Patrol, a division of Public Safety. Charles’ wife and son are still employed by the patrol. When asked about possible conflicts of interest related to the family relationships, John Kasich attacked reporters claiming that their interest in “transparency and conflicts and other stuff” and “stupid rules and regulations” keeps getting in the way of him appointing all of his friends to cushy government jobs.
In 2010, then-Inspector General Charles led a series of politically-motivated investigations aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the Strickland administration during an election year. Charles was quickly appointed to his current cabinet-level position after Kasich defeated Strickland.
Plunderbund is currently in the middle of lawsuit over public records with DPS.
The AP’s Julie Carr Smyth confirms that John Born is taking over for Tom Charles at DPS and also reports that “Charles may be tasked with monitoring ethics” at JobsOhio – an interesting development considering today’s revelation that 6 of 9 JobsOhio board members have financial connections to companies that received financial and tax assistance from JobsOhio and the Kasich Administration.