Friday, November 21, 2008

Director's checks on 'Joe' called unfounded

A slap on the wrist for government officials who violated Joe's privacy and misused their offices for political purposes.  I guess that's OK as long as their motives were pure, and obviously anyone who contributed to the Obama campaign has the public's best interests at heart.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is standing by an agency director who OK'd improper computer checks for confidential information on "Joe the Plumber" and used state e-mails for political fundraising.

Strickland announced today that Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Department of Job and Family Services, will be placed on unpaid leave for one month in response to an inspector general's investigation.

The investigation found Jones-Kelley had no legitimate reasons to check on Toledo-area resident Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, who was popularized as "Joe the Plumber" by Republican presidential candidate John McCain. It also confirmed she improperly used her state e-mail account to raise campaign money for President-elect Barack Obama.

Some Republican leaders, who cited the report's findings to call on Democrat Strickland to fire Jones-Kelley, were stunned that she will remain on the job.

"The actions described in this report cross the line of what you can do and lead a state agency. She violated the public trust," said House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering.

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