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Liberal Group Says Ohio Education Department Had List of Employees to Fire after Kasich Took Office

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 5:11 PM

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Photo by Alan Levine on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/37996646802@N01/8780384760/

A month ago, questions were raised about an alleged list of people at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who were supposed to be treated as enemies. Now, some Democrats tell Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles a similar list existed at the Ohio Department of Education.

Democratic consultant Sandy Theis says says she knows there was a so-called “hit list” of employees that were set to be eliminated from the Ohio Department of Education shortly after Gov. John Kasich took office. 

Theis says the state inspector general looked into the complaint and did an interview with a woman who confirmed the existence of the list. But when Theis went to get a copy of that interview, it wasn’t in the public records file.

“Public records don’t grow feet and walk away,” Theis said. “The only thing missing from the file was the file of the woman who supposedly told him about the hit list.”

Progress Ohio’s Brian Rothenberg says the problem is the report that was issued by the inspector general shows that person in question was interviewed.

“The report actually references an interview with somebody who had alleged a sort of ‘hit list’ that was at the department of education, “ Rothenberg said. “But when our investigator went in to look for the actual interview documents, there’s no interview.”

Deputy Inspector General Carl Enslen, in a written statement, said the accusation that the report was created but then destroyed is baseless. 

He said investigators do not memorialize and keep a record of all of the questions and answers given in the course of an investigation, but decide what should be kept. Enslen said elected officials and appointed officers in many agencies have the discretion to decide who will work for them and adds any employee can be removed without cause. And he said that’s a matter that doesn’t warrant investigation. 

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