The FBI has been informed

The FBI has been informed

Since reading Bertram de Souza’s column, “Sheriff should call FBI,” last Sunday, I feel it necessary to clarify a few points.

First of all, I have spent 23 years working in law enforcement for the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office. During that time, I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to view corruption and dishonesty in politics and how it can tear apart a department and community.

As a newly elected sheriff, I was very disappointed in reading Bertram de Souza’s article. I believe the article led the public to believe that I did not do enough, specifically to what Bertram describes as possible bribes by “unsavory characters” approaching me during my campaign. Bertram’s advice to me in the article was that I should turn over the names of those individuals to the FBI.

If Bertram would have simply asked me, “Did you ever make contact with the FBI in regard to any of these ‘unsavory individuals?’” the answer would have been, “Yes.” I have an open line of communications with the FBI since I announced my candidacy for the office of sheriff. The communications that I have with the FBI relates to illegal activities and the naming of specific names of those individuals will not ever be discussed on a live radio interview with the media, unless the case would be considered public record.

Although I stated earlier my disappointment with how the article read, I feel that articles of this type have some merit. These articles give the officeholders in our local government, including myself, the opportunity to take a step back and assure they are doing the right thing.

Jerry Greene, Youngstown

The writer is Mahoning County sheriff.

Ohioans need Medicaid

As Gov. Kasich and the state Legislature consider whether to open the door to Medicaid coverage through expansion I hope they consider an analysis recently released by a nonpartisan collaboration of researchers from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, The Ohio State University and others. The study confirmed that expansion will mean health care coverage for more than 450,000 currently uninsured Ohioans and will actually save the state money.

On a daily basis, community health centers like the Youngstown Community Health Center and its affiliates see the tremendous need for greater health care coverage. Expanded Medicaid eligibility levels are directly associated with our ability to invest in capacity, increase access to care and better meet the needs of patients and our community.

Bottom line, moving uninsured Ohioans onto Medicaids and out of emergency rooms for primary care will save lives, improve health outcomes and reduce costs. I urge Gov. Kasich to include Medicaid expansion in his budget, and ask the General Assembly to embrace its fundamental human and economic benefits.

Ronald Dwinnells M.D., Youngstown

The writer is CEO of One Health Ohio,

Coverage for autistic children

The Autism Society of Ohio appreciates Gov. Kasich’s leadership to include autism services as a part of the essential health-care package offered through the ACA’s insurance exchanges for individuals with autism ages birth to 21. Gov. Kasich also added this same benefit package as part of the state employee health benefit package.

This shows great compassion to support these individuals and their families who struggle to access insurance benefits to provide treatments for the symptoms of this disorder. We appreciate the work of the governor and his staff, parents, advocates, our legislative leaders, and business partners in recognizing the importance of autism and its effect on Ohio families by taking this significant step. Research shows that early intervention helps make a significant and lifelong difference in the lives of children with autism.

Marla Root, Columbus

The writer is public policy chair for the Autism Society of Ohio.