Loose Ends: Joe the Plumber’s Records-Searcher Punished

Nov 21, 2008 9:09am

The Columbus Dispatch reports 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.

"’Now, she’s made a bad judgment and I’ve acknowledged that,’" said Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. "’But I do not believe that a lifetime of honorable public service can be just discounted in the face of what has happened.’ The report by Inspector General Thomas P. Charles found that Jones-Kelley ‘had no legitimate agency function or purpose’ in authorizing the checks. It said the reasons Jones-Kelley offered for the checks in child-support, public assistance and unemployment tax databases ‘were not credible.’"

– jpt

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