Wednesday, June 23, 2010
LATER TODAY; THURSDAY, THE 24TH; FRIDAY, THE 25TH; MONDAY, THE 28TH; OR TUESDAY, THE 29TH OR MAYBE EVEN WEDNESDAY, THE 30TH? FINALLY, A CONCLUSION TO THE FRUSTACI INVESTIGATION?
Yesterday, the SCPR received a telephone call from a person in a position to know, that "finally, finally" the allegations made by Stark County treasurer Gary D. Zeigler on April 1, 2009 that Zeigler's - the then - chief deputy Vince Frustaci had misappropriated money (Zeigler fired Frustaci on the 1st of April, 2009) from the Stark County treasury being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be concluded within days.
What does that mean?
Hard to say.
Dare say that nobody in Stark County government on April 1, 2009 would have thought on that day that it could take as long as July 1, 2010 to complete the investigation.
Accordingly, The Report was reluctant (despite a constant stream of questions and musing from various readers and public officials) to do yet another blog speculating on the investigation conclusion date because of the large number of inaccurate reports as to the timing of the conclusion.
Not that the SCPR's sources have been wrong. Not at all.
What has happened is that people very close to the investigation have indeed let it be known to The Report's sources that the end is near. But for one reason or another the investigating authorities have changed the timeline.
As The Report observed several blogs ago, law enforcement authorities will take whatever time they think they need to do the job correctly. And that is the way the anticipatory public should want it.
The Repository was - at the time of the blog referred to above - jumping all over the county commissioners for not pushing for a conclusion of the investigation. Such was just a case of "grandstanding" by "the powers that be" at The Rep. Kind of journalistically unbecoming for folks who know the reality that quality law enforcement should and will take the time it needs to do an investigation, no?
So, it appears, any day now, the matter will be finalized. At least, insofar as Mr. Frustaci is concerned.
However, once the amount of the alleged theft is officially known (believed by some to be as high as $3 million); there may be other ramifications in terms of the county commissioners looking at the county treasury's oversight function and whether or not there was (on the commissioners' assessment) insufficient performance of the oversight responsibility meriting action by the commissioners in pursuit of the Stark County public interest.
Accordingly, there may be plenty of life left in this story.
Posted by Martin Olson at 10:00 AM