Who wanted to avoid being embarrassed?
April 29, 2010 - Rob Weaver
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — High-ranking public safety officials stopped a valid drug sting of inmates working at Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s home purely to save Strickland embarrassment, the state watchdog said Thursday.
Ummm ... it didn’t work.
Politics already has been hitting the fan over this problem, but I have to ask: Wasn’t that expected?
First, some background. As I understand it, there used to be a program which allowed some state inmates to work in and around the governor’s residence in Bexley, a tony neighborhood in Columbus. (By using the past tense, I’m trusting the program at least has been suspended.) But the program lacked adequate supervision, and the inmates figured out they could collect contraband (alcohol, tobacco and drugs) at the residence and smuggle it into prison.
Because a sting operation eventually was set up to nab the inmates in the act, I assume authorities figured out what was going on. This is when those same authorities should have realized the potential for embarrassment.
I can understand the resultant sting operation if the governor were responsible for the lack of oversight over the inmates. If not, then those in charge should have improved the supervision of the inmates or shutdown the program. Otherwise, why bother with the sting? Perhaps those investigating the program needed proof that contraband — and weapons — were being funneled through the governor’s home into a prison.
It seems the goal should have been to figure out how items such as tobacco, razor blades and utility knives were being smuggled into the prison — and that has been accomplished.
Ultimately, though, it may be the person or people who were supposed to be supervising the inmate program who wanted to avoid being embarrassed.