It is the job of a Cuyahoga County Inspector General to conduct audits and investigations to ensure ensure county employees meet the county's ethical standards. But a political flap has arisen on whether that should include keeping tabs on campaign donations. ideastream's Nick Castele reports.
At Ed FitzGerald's request, the county's top watchdog has been checking to make sure county employees are not contributing to his campaign for governor.
The chairman of the state Republican Party, Matt Borges, says that's wrong. He came to Cleveland today to challenge the county executive on the matter.
"If he wants to make sure that those contributions live up to the standards that he's set," Borges said at a press conference, "then he needs to have a campaign employee or some private counsel looking at those."
The GOP says the inspector general's office is, in effect, contributing to the FitzGerald campaign itself by having government employees make sure the law isn't being violated.
Borges went on to say Inspector General Nailah Byrd should resign for withholding information he requested on the number of hours her office has spent reviewing contributions. Byrd did release those numbers, but did so to county council.
FitzGerald scoffs at the charge of wrongdoing on his part.
"Because our inspector general, rightfully, appropriately, makes sure that our county employees are not violating the law, and that county officials aren't violating the law, they're saying that that is somehow political. It isn't," FitzGerald told reporters after speaking at the Akron Press Club today.
For the record, Gov. John Kasich's employees are also not allowed to contribute to his campaign. Cleveland.com reported earlier this year that Kasich's campaign says it vets its own contributions.