Thursday, November 19, 2009

Out of a bad movie

Like one of those silly sci-fi flicks, where the aliens need to dwell in the bodies of humans in order to rule the world, the foul-smelling aliens -- who already have Hanks and Thompson under their control -- need to inhabit the corpus of O'Brien in order to rule Delaware County.

Ken, it's all a mind game. Luckily, Tweedles Dee and Dum have little in the way of mind power.

Note: Oh, and stay out of offices when univited. That's tough to defend.


From the Delaware Gazette:


Commissioners: Efforts to set up dispute resolution stalling
Thursday, November 19, 2009

ANDREW TOBIAS

Staff Writer


More than four weeks after initially voting to do so, Delaware County commissioners are still trying to set up a meeting with a state dispute mediator they hope will address interpersonal problems on the board.

An official with the Ohio Commission of Resolution Dispute has contacted all three county commissioners, but commissioner Ken O’Brien said he won’t meet unless a specific issue is identified for the commissioners to talk about.

“I don’t want everybody to sit down in a room if we’re going to say ‘What are we going to talk about?’” said O’Brien, who voted against bringing in the mediator in the first place. He said he is waiting to hear back from the state mediator after she again contacts the other two commissioners.

Commissioner Todd Hanks said he hopes O’Brien gets on board with the mediation program.

“I think if it were to move forward, it would be in the best interest that all three would participate,” Hanks said.

On Oct. 29, Hanks and commissioner Tommy Thompson voted to bring in the mediator. Thompson said at the time he hoped it would help address lingering distrust over a controversial $3.13 million consulting contract that the commissioners passed over the summer before later rescinding it.

O’Brien has said he was not included on some e-mail communications related to the contract, and feels like the other two intentionally kept him out of the loop. O’Brien subsequently issued a broad records request for all emails between the commissioners and the prosecutor’s office, an action which the other two commissioners criticized as divisive.

O’Brien said the $3.13 million contract is now largely water under the bridge, but an incident that occurred the day after the vote to bring in the mediator might highlight some distrust that still exists between O’Brien and the other two commissioners.

On the evening of Oct. 30 after regular office hours, county economic development director Gus Comstock returned to his office to find O’Brien inside with the light off.

O’Brien said he went to talk to Comstock, and when he didn’t find him, he looked on his desk for economic-related information.

Afterwards, O’Brien said he may have made things worse by defending his right to be in the office in the first place.

“If I wanted to go into that office, I don’t have a problem with that, because (Comstock reports directly to the commissioners), and I said that,” O’Brien said. “But that doesn’t mean I’m going to go through his stuff, and I haven’t.”

Comstock declined to comment for this article, but some in the commissioners’ office view the incident as an intrusion and a violation of professional courtesy.

Thompson said after hearing about the incident, he began locking his office door when he leaves, something he didn’t do before.

“My personal opinion is that kind of action is unethical,” he said. He added he would leave a note behind if he were looking for someone in their office and they were not there, rather than look through their desk without permission.

Regardless, Thompson said he hoped bringing in a mediator would help the commissioners hash out some of their issues.

“I don’t want us all to be a bunch of rubber stamps … but I want us to communicate with each other and work together, and not be suspicious
of each other’s motives,” Thompson said.

Thompson also said he doesn’t think the commissioners should “berate or belittle” anyone in public sessions. He didn’t identify O’Brien by name, but he was referring to a few recent occasions where O’Brien’s directed pointed questions toward lawyers representing companies looking to do business with the county during public meetings.

O’Brien responded by saying he was simply asking hard questions of the lawyers in the best interest of the county. That’s what his job is as an elected official, he said, even if it makes him unpopular with the other commissioners.

“I think that’s what we should do, whether we like one another or not, or whether we trust one another or not,” O’Brien said. “If it’s good for the county, the objective data is there regardless of who gets the credit.”


atobias@delgazette.com

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you watch the video of Commissioner O'Brien questioning Mr. Shade, you will see that Mr. O'Brien clearly did not understand the language of the agreement. But on the chance that he did understand the language, he could not craft a question to get the answer he was fishing for. It did not look like a tough question, but a badgering of a resident. I am all for tough questions, but this appeared to be poorly constructed or antagonistic questioning.

Of course, I am open to a logical explanation of his questioning-but I'm not convinced it exists.

Anonymous said...

O'Brien has every right to be suspicious and distrustful. The hiring of the mediator is clearly meant to intimidate and marginalize him.

A lot has gone on behind his back so I understand why he went looking for materials relating to county business that he was not informed about.

We again come full circle to Toad Hanks and Tommy Boy, and their seedy, sleazy behavior. That is what has blackened the pot--not anything Ken O'Brien has done.

Anonymous said...

9:19 After O'Briens questioned the attorney, the resolution was pulled by attorney Michael Shade, representing Byers, because changes had been made to an agreement between Byers and Greif. O'Brien pointed out both sides must approve the changes before the commission votes on the resolution. O'Brien asked that Chad Antle give his stamp of approval.

Seems clear but don't get me wrong Shade isn't in the same class as Ison, Kabealo attorney. Good Job watching out for the county O'Brien!

Anonymous said...

9:19 PM,
Really? A lot has gone on behind O'Brien's back? Like what? It sounds like O'Brien is just paranoid.

Anonymous said...

"Really? A lot has gone on behind O'Brien's back? Like what? It sounds like O'Brien is just paranoid."

Right. A $3MM contract was initiated and negotiated over a period of weeks without O'Brien being told of it. And then a copy of the contract was given to him 30 minutes before the meeting whose agenda it was snuck onto for passage. Hanks, Thompson and others clearly coordinated on this attempted theft behind the back of Ken O'Brien. What else have they schemed on behind his back?

6:14 AM You either don't know what you're opining about, or you're just a tool.

Anonymous said...

8:48 AM,
O'Brien was invited by St eGe to meet and talk about the what they could provide. He knew what their company could offer, and he knew what was in the contract. And the other two commissioners did not have secret negotiations with St eGe.

But if you want to keep that one, o.k.. But it was said that there was lots of instanced where this happened. Do you actually have lots?




How about the times that Mr. O'Brien received information and did not provide it to the other two commissioners? That has happened, it was mentioned in session. Was this come nefarious plot by O'Brien to subvert proper dissemination of information?

You just see conspiracy everywhere. Mr.O'Brien does not ask the hard questions, he interrogates people. And he won't ask direct questions, but ones that only he seems to know the answer too. (at least he thinks that is what he is doing)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Shade clearly state that the agreement was not binding and that it did not have Mr. Antle's consent, yet Ken kept asking the same question over and over. It was clear that Ken had no idea what was being said. He was ignorant about what was happening around him, and it fueled his berating questions. He was clearly out of line.

Anonymous said...

The inside scoop; the Gazette has been bombarded by the Delco Political Reporter request for an article, stating Tommy Thompson wants to talk.

The inside scoop; this article was brought to you by Tommy Thompson and his blog the DCPR.

The inside scoop; both Thompson and the Toad refuse to answer questions regarding their $3.13 million landfill aka poop dump.

Tommy W Thompson and Todd A Hanks refuse to answer questions about hiring Gus Comstock.

Both Tommy W Thompson and his sidekick Toad A Hanks covered up CEC activities involving the Toad and Gus Comstock.

The Gazette exposed them in Sunbury.

The Gazette exposed them again with the BMV suit again Tommy Thompson and the toad refuse to talk.

The inside scoop; the Gazette has not been able to reach the mediator (left 20 messages).

From people in the know at the commissioners building said the mediator has not been able to identify a issue that requires mediation.

The inside scoop; Tommy Thompsons unethical and inappropriate actions are being investigated along with his sidekick Todd Hanks aka the Toad.

Note to the del co political reporters you will not control Anti-Positivist the readers here know who you are and will not buy into your delusional rants.

Just the Facts

Anonymous said...

Toad and Tommy Boy had better stuff their pockets as much as they can now because they won't be re-elected.

Tommy will settle back into...whatever he used to do, but Toad will suffer great culture shock trying to ease back into the private sector. What did the Toad do prior to picking our pockets and illegally leasing office space, as Auditor?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Phil Kabealo is a tool, too.

Sleazebag. Maybe he can hire Toad when he's thrown out of office.

Anonymous said...

7:48,
Thanks for the poor logic, lies accusations, and a very small amount of factual information. Your defamation and lies are quite pathetic and transparent.

But it is a fact that the Gazette printed an article about Ken O'Brien and his Watergate like intrusion of someone's office.

It is quite hypocritical that a man like Ken, who claims to be charged with upholding the law, would circumvent the law to try and find information. If he believed that the office contained incriminating evidence, he should have gotten a warrant. That would have been a legal way to get what he wanted.

And if he was just looking for information that he would be privy too, he should have just waited and asked Comstock for it in the morning. But he did not do that, he took an inappropriate shortcut.

Anonymous said...

7:48

Shill--all you write about is criticism about the various posts that are critical of Toad Hanks.

Tell us what you think about the following:

The $3MM ST eGe contract that he tried to implement.

The Sunbury Village/ CEC affair (his concealing his commissioner status).

We know what you think of his BMV disaster (emphasis on "his").

You have knowledge of a lot of the nuances about these affairs which screams of first person perspective (hello Toad). This being the case--and if you're not Toad then you certainly interact with him--please forward to Jim Fedako the business case of the alleged $100MM revenue stream from the bioreactor/landfill and the email negotiations between ST eGe and Yost's office so he can post them.

Anonymous said...

3:34 PM,
Nice avoidnce of the issue at hand. O'Brien screwed up by sneaking around in someone's office. That is what this thread is all about, that an conflict management. On both fronts you are out of order. O'Brien was wrong. And no matter your opinion on who is right or wrong, the mediation would help to work that out. But you would rather blabber on about other issue, ones that you are also off base on.

Check out the BMV story in Delaware This Week for the point of view I have been arguing for over a week.

Anonymous said...

Tommy W Thompson voted in-favor of his buddy Kabealos St ege contract. Against Legal Advice.

Violation Tommy Boy

Tommy W Thompson voted to pay the BMV lease after being declared invalid. Against Legal Advice.

Violation Tommy Boy

Hey Toads Mom lets talk about the real issues !

(hello Toad)--please forward to Jim Fedako the business case of the alleged $100MM revenue stream from the bioreactor/landfill and the email negotiations between ST eGe and Yost's office so he can post them.

Waiting Toad!

Anonymous said...

It's pretty funny that you are claiming violations. When asked if any sunshine law violations occurred, O'Brien responded no.

And the article in This Week clearly states that the prosecutor and auditor were working on a settlement for the lease.

When this goes to court, you will see how weak the county's case is.
They will lose, and end up paying more than the balance of the lease. It is wrong to use a space and then dump it when it is inconvenient for you.

And none of this discussion changes the fact that O'Brien was unethical when he unlawfully entered another person's office. But of course staying on topic does not work for you, so you avoid it.

And none of this changes the fact that there is conflict on the board. The conflict keeps our county from running effectively, and in the best interest of the people.

Hopefully someday we can clear up that mental myopia you are suffering from. Or at least get you to start telling the whole truth and not just the part that supports your opinion.

Anonymous said...

The Toad has Memory Troubles

This Week News: County says BMV lease invalid
Friday, August 7, 2009 6:40 PM
By CANDACE PRESTON-COY

Hanks said he never had a reason to question whether he had the authority to sign the lease.

He also said he isn't sure but believes he asked for guidance from the prosecutor's office before signing the lease but has nothing in writing to support that claim.

This Week News: County prosecutor says Hanks' BMV lease wasn't reviewed
Friday, August 14, 2009 7:05 PM
By CANDACE PRESTON-COY

The lease should have been reviewed by the prosecutor's office and signed off on by the county commissioners for it to be valid, Yost said.

Yost also said it's not his fault he didn't review the lease. He said, "You'll have to ask (the former) auditor" why that happened.

Gazette: County: BMV lease may not be valid
Friday, August 7, 2009

Andrew Tobias
Staff Writer

Hanks told the Gazette he wasn’t sure, but believed that he received guidance from the prosecutor’s office before signing the lease in April, 2005. He said he didn’t have written confirmation of this.

Anonymous said...

Todd Hanks has Memory Troubles

Hanks didn’t know if he identified himself to the Sunbury officials. Oh yes old Gus and the Toad wanted to give away county funds at this CEC meeting.

Commissioner moonlights as consultant
Thursday, August 20, 2009
ANDREW TOBIAS
Staff Writer

At the May 20 meeting, county economic development director Gus Comstock said he would see if the county could contribute revolving loan funds to help the landowner pay for the project, according to Sunbury Village Administrator Dave Martin. Comstock also indicated he would help guide village officials through the grant application process, Martin said.

On Wednesday, Hanks said he invited the CEC employees, who had experience with projects similar to the Nestle redevelopment, to the meeting to try and find them business opportunities.

“I was retained by CEC to make introductions,” he said. When asked if he was acting as a CEC employee or a county commissioner at the meetings, he said: “I’m never not a county commissioner.”

Hanks said he has been open with others about his private job, but he didn’t know if he identified himself to the Sunbury officials as a CEC employee. He also said he didn’t remember if revolving loan funds were discussed.

Resign Toad !!!

Anonymous said...

Delaware County sued over former BMV lease
Monday, November 16, 2009 6:10 PM
By CANDACE PRESTON-COY
ThisWeek Staff Writer
The Delaware County commissioners and county auditor George Kaitsa are being sued for more than $150,000 by a former landlord over a broken lease in the Northpointe Plaza Shopping Center in Lewis Center.

The lawsuit was filed by Tuller Square Northpointe LLC in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, seeking rent through Aug. 31, 2012, the expiration date of the seven-year lease, as well as interest on the delinquent amount.

Former county auditor Todd Hanks signed the lease for the roughly 2,000-square-foot storefront on April 28, 2005 for use as a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office he was opening. Former county commissioners Jim Ward, Glenn Evans and Kris Jordan approved that action but did not sign the lease.

Last spring, Kaitsa announced he was closing the BMV office on June 27 after learning the Ohio Department of Public Safety declined to renew its contract for that location.

The county continued to occupy the space until Aug. 14, Kaitsa said, until the telecommunications equipment that supported both the BMV office and the clerk of court's title office next door could be moved.

At that time, Kaitsa and county prosecutor Dave Yost said they were trying to negotiate a settlement with the landlord.

The lease became a political issue during the summer when Yost said his office did not review the lease and Hanks did not have the authority under Ohio law to enter into the lease.

Hanks, who now is a county commissioner, said he remembers asking the prosecutor's office to review the lease prior to his signing it but has nothing in writing to back up his contention

Yost said he had a copy of the lease, but didn't look at it. He sent a copy in 2006 to county resident Phil Kabealo, who had filed a public records request.

When asked by ThisWeek in August if he reviewed the lease prior to sending it to Kabealo, Yost said, "No. We typically provide documents that are under public records requests that are not privileged. There is no real reason to review them."

Neither Kaitsa nor the current county commissioners would comment on the lawsuit on advice from counsel.

At the Nov. 16 commission meeting, commission vice president Ken O'Brien asked Hanks if was going to recluse himself from any executive session discussions concerning the lawsuit.

"That is to be decided," Hanks said, as he acknowledged that he had already spoken with assistant prosecutor Kyle Rohrer, the board's liaison with the prosecutor's office.

"He (Hanks) is not free to comment on the advice I gave him," Rohrer told O'Brien. He also cautioned O'Brien and the rest of the commissioners about discussing pending litigation in open session.

Under the terms of the seven-year lease, the county paid $4,091 a month for rent, common area maintenance, insurance and trash collection.

They also agreed to pay utilities for the storefront. The lease required the county to pay a 10-percent overhead charge on any delinquent amount owed and interest on the delinquency at a rate of 20 percent a year.

Anonymous said...

Just another anti-Hanks attack in a post that is about O'Brien. It is pathetic that you want to distract people from negative press about Ken's poor moral choices. He had no place being in that office, and the people of the county know it.

He also made a bad choice when he denied payment on the BMV lease. He wants to recoup money from the lease, and people posting here want Hanks to pay. But the county received a service and the property owner deserved the compensation.

It is immoral for the county to try and dissolve a lease the the Commissioners have payed on for over four years. In the end it will be egg on Mr. O'Brien's, Yost's, and Kaitsa's collective faces. I'm sorry you keep avoiding the issue.

But hey, keep up the distraction. I am sure some morons will be fooled by your technique. It surly shows your defensive and paranoid side.

Anonymous said...

3:47

I'm not avoiding anything. Of O'Brien there's nothing to talk about. Frankly, I forgot that this post had anything to do with O'Brien because O'Brien is not the issue--Hanks is. Should O'Brien have been lurking around the offices after hours, and in the dark? Doesn't matter because there was no break-in, and also because nothing could result from that that would affect me, that's why. If anything, what he did could prevent yet unknown shenanigans from occurring. It seems that whenever Toad Hanks does something it's clearly unethical--perhaps illegal, and results in money being sucked out of my wallet. I don't have that problem with Ken O'Brien.

The only one avoiding anything is you answering my requests and questions. Provide the business case and the email negotiations, and YOU weigh in ST eGe and the Sunbury Village/CEC issue.

Anonymous said...

"And none of this discussion changes the fact that O'Brien was unethical when he unlawfully entered another person's office."

Which is it? Did O'Brien violate the law, or was he merely unethical? Talk about flimsy command of the facts. You don't even know the law.

One cannot be accused of "breaking in" to an office if one has the keys, and if people within an office don't lock their doors then there is no "expectation of privacy". This is no different than accusing one as a peeping tom when the blinds are kept up.

If O'Brien broke the law then I would expect the complainant to press the prosecutor to investigate and file charges.

Anonymous said...

Plain and simple, even Jim agrees that it is hard to defend, O'Brien should not have been in the office. And it adds to suspicion when he has the lights out, and it is after office hours. It is sneaky and unethical.

Anonymous said...

To the Toad

You are amusing "I think" "I thought" "I don't remember" now you remember... you do make me laugh....

Catch a lot of flies with that tongue Toads Mom

Where's my money Toad ?

Good Night Toads Mom

Anonymous said...

O'Brien's actions show that he knows that his entry was unacceptable.

He does not enter when people are around, he enters when he thinks he is the only one there.

He does not turn the lights on, he leaves the lights off.

How many other other offices have been entered unethically by Ken? How many desks have been snooped in by Ken? What other sneaky business is he up to in the dark? He has shown their is reason to be suspicious of his actions. He may not be the ethical golden boy we thought he was.

Anonymous said...

How is what Ken O'Brien did unethical? Please explain.

As someone who has worked plenty of late nights--and often gone into the office at 2,3 or 4am...and sometimes fished around colleagues' desks for documents or memos...was I being unethical? Granted, I never suspected my colleagues of hiding anything--there simply does not exist the motive for them to hide anything from me. After all, I've never been deceived by my colleagues like Ken O'Brien has been deceived by the people that he works with. But was I being unethical?

As someone who cries "Thought Police!" whenever a motive is ascribed to Toad Hank's sleazy actions you certainly won't ascribe intent to Ken O'Brien looking around someone's desk, after hours, would you? You--being fair-minded and despising the accusation mongering that is directed at you (Toad) would never, ever make blind accusations devoid of hard fact of wrongdoing, right? Of course, you would never do that.

Anonymous said...

I cannot tell you what it takes to have the right to enter into another person's space without permission. But we can look at the facts and see when it is not ok.

Inspector O'Brien claims to have been looking to see if Gus was around. And when he found out that he was not around, he entered his office and sat at his desk. Ken claims to have been looking for economic documents.

If this entry had been ok, it would not have made the paper. If this entry was ok, people would still leave their doors unlocked. If his entry was ok, he would have turned the lights on. He was simply being sneaky, and he was caught. There is plenty of tension in the county, and this incident just exemplifies it even more.

I guess those documents were so essential to Ken's time line that he had to have them instantly. A wiser man would have left a note or an email asking for the information, or seeking a time to meet. Instead, Ken shows his selfish needs are above the rest of the people.

Anonymous said...

"If this entry had been ok, it would not have made the paper."

So...the story that was run on kids picking pumpkins at a local farm was not okay? Why do you believe that impropriety is the threshold of newsworthiness? "Salacious" is answer you're looking for, which is quite different than "nefarious". But, since your're speaking from the Toad Hanks POV I can understand why you believe that everything you read about someone must be about wrongdoing.

"If this entry was ok, people would still leave their doors unlocked."

Wrong. People in the office voiced their concern about keeping the things they want to keep private by locking their doors. Before this they did not lock their doors, so there was no expectation of privacy.


"If his entry was ok, he would have turned the lights on."

Thought police. I have no idea what was going on in Ken O'Brien's thoughts, just as I have no idea what Toad Hanks was thinking when he tried to sneak a $3MM contract onto the agenda and pass it without input from county engineers, try to get a deal for his second employer without disclosing that he was a county commissioner, and enter into a lease agreement without the authority to do so.

"He was simply being sneaky, and he was caught."

Takes one to know one, huh? Ken O'Brien obviously--and rightfully--believes that county business is being done behind his back and without his knowledge. This is not an irrational concern or paranoia. It is fact based and I can understand why he did what he did. My only problem with what he did was that he was caught. I would not have been. If Toad and Tommy Boy were not so sneaky themselves (see comments in paragraph above) Ken O'Brien would not feel the need to recon the office clandestinely. The Toad's antics are the issue here, not Ken O'Brien.

Anonymous said...

I love Ken's comment in Tuesday's paper when he said, everything in the story was accurate. Ken admits to all. Even he knows it looked bad, and should not have been so defensive about it.

Anonymous said...

I think there are two fundamental errors in a lot of what has been said on this issue.

1) There is clearly conflict on the board, regardless of which side you back or who is at fault. Conflict resolution would be beneficial to everyone in the county. We all are being represented by these three men, and they are not working effectively with all of this negative conflict. (and yes there is positive conflict, but this is not it)

2) It is not justifiable to say that because we suspect one person of being unethical, it is ok for another person to be unethical. Ken is not the man of integrity that is being proclaimed by many people here. He lied when he claimed to the paper that there were sunshine violations, and then contradicted himself when directly asked in session. By his own admission, he has been in other people's offices looking through their stuff when they were not around. He lied about not being in on the St eGe meetings. He had an inappropriate meeting with the legal staff and Kaitsa about pending litigation, and withheld the information from the other commissioners. The legal staff, which he claims should always be followed, told him that there would not be a great chance of a conflict of interest in the BMV lease case. He went against their advice and asked them to step aside. He also wanted to circumvent their advice on who should represent the county in the case. He clearly has his own issues of integrity and consistency.

We cannot claim to have a discerning eye to justice, and then turn it to the injustice of another.