Published December 17, 2008
In the December 5th article in the Columbus Dispatch by Candace Candisky it is now clear that not only was Helen Jones-Kelley guilty of illegally accessing Mr. Wurzelbacher’s confidential information but two of her assistants (Doug Thompson and Carri Brown) as well as others in the department were also involved. Mr. Thompson seems to have directed the cover-up by dictating an email to the employee directed to perform the search and also threatening her with dismissal should she not comply. They also conspired to tell the same false story to the press and investigators as well. What is most damning about their behavior is that every employee must read and sign the guidelines for accessing private information like this which clearly indicates they all had knowledge that what they were doing was both illegal and against department policy!
Governor Strickland, who ran on providing honest and transparent government, has rewarded these appointees with one month suspensions without pay. I believe his punishment falls far short of justice in this case, and I have requested that he terminate all those involved immediately….which he should have done the moment he knew they were guilty. Governor Strickland must send a message to ALL public officials that they are not above the law even if they are Democrats and his appointees. Our news media also needs to remember the old adage that “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem”. They must call for Ms Jones-Kelley and all others involved to be fired just as they would if they were a Republicans! That is the morally right thing to do!
If you believe, as I do, that the Governor must terminate those involved as soon as possible please contact him and let him know. Perhaps he’ll then finally do the right thing and restore some of his waning reputation for honest government.