Thursday, September 14, 2006

Do you think this might be a story?

A state audit has found $1.4 billion in questionable spending by Hamilton County Job and Family Services -- yes that's billion. It could be the largest case of misspending by a local government in Ohio.

But you won't read much about it in the Enquirer. The Columbus Dispatch got the scoop on this one. The Enquirer put half a story on its local page, without the vital details the Dispatch managed to uncover. For the front page, the Enquirer chose to tell us something we already knew, that gas has gotten cheaper. Lacking any sense of curiousity or skepticism, the Enquirer continues to chase the obvious, and in the process gets scooped on a major story in its own back yard. It also continues to make bad decisions about which stories deserve the front page.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Plain Dealer's article today also got some good stuff, including that the woman who ran JFS during all the funny business was Suzanne Burke. It turns out Burke was previously a Hamilton County administrator who oversaw the contract deals for the stadiums. Quite a track record for Ms. Burke.

It's also notable that the Enquirer makes no mention of Dusty Rhodes, who, as county auditor should have been on the front lines of any investigation of this magnitude. (Where are ya, Dusty? cough, cough)

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About two months ago, the Dispatch broke the story about the upcoming audit report and raised the $1 billion figure. Obviously this was a huge Cincinnati story, but the paper never ran it. The Post picked up the Dispatch story off the wire.

Back then, Enquirer editor Joe Fenton was called and told the caller that Dan Horn was working on the story and would have something in the paper the next day. That never happened. Maybe the Enquirer was hoping it was all a bad dream and would go away because it's deadly for all the Republicans in office who are supposedly watching tax dollars so carefully.

Now it looks like they were doing more than watching.

The audit report makes for unbelievable reading. What's up with the million bucks of welfare money that somehow went for parking spaces at Parkhaus, that's county owned? Who's the responsible administrator? Then there's the huge theft by the Petermann bus company that was fleecing the county for wild overbilling. How nice that Petermann CEO Peter Settle donated so generously to Pat DeWine's failed run for Portman's congressional seat.

Here's the audit report.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Enquirer is a hopeless cause. Keep this as a permanent link from your site so your viewers can understand the underlying reasons for its pathetic, groping existence.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a gut feeling, but it may be a foreshadowing of a climax prefigured by Drake/Mrdd and all the other little levies fingerprinted by characters of questionable motive.

I hope I am wrong.

10:00 AM  

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