UPDATE 06/27/2010 at 6:50 AM
A video of Mary Taylor's presentation at the Frustaci press conference has been added to this blog. It is incredible to watch Taylor's sleight-of-hand on how authorities got onto Frustaci.
Yesterday, Governor Ted Strickland complained that Taylor's office has yet to produce "a performance audit" being done on the Ohio Lottery.
Maybe a performance audit needs to be done of the State of Ohio Auditor's office?
Here's the Taylor video.
Without benefit of Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor's Supplement to the Special Audit Report for the period January 1, 2005 to April 13,2009 handed out at today's press conference, the SCPR called for Stark County Treasurer Gary Zeigler's resignation months ago.
Anytime over $2 million dollars can come up missing in any government agency, the head of the unit of government bears responsibility for not having safety measures in place to ensure that money does not get stolen.
Accordingly, it is no surprise that Taylor's report confirmed what The Report suspected had to be the case.
Auditor Taylor's office found, among other things, that in the Stark treasury there were insufficient checks and balances to ensure the correspondence of money collected, money deposited in banks and money reported to the Stark County auditor.
Repeatedly, in making recommendations for changes (which have since been made), Taylor's auditors cite that the way monies were being handled made them more vulnerable to theft. It was hard to believe that cashiers' drawers were left unlocked and therefore vulnerable to being pilfered when a cashier stepped away momentarily.
There definitely is a groundswell of public opinion and public official opinion that Zeigler should resign including Stark County Commissioners Bosley, Meeks and Ferguson, Stark County Democratic Party Chairman (also Jackson fiscal officer and chief deputy - Canton Municipal clerk of courts) Gonzalez, and Stark County Auditor Kim Perez.
Yesterday, Zeigler was saying he will not resign.
If he doesn't, then the healing that Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero called for today in his remarks at the press conference will not begin until January 1, 2013 when a new treasurer takes office when voters presumably select the replacement in November, 2012.
Take a listen at Ferrero is this video.
Moreover, if Zeigler hangs in and does not resign; look for Democrats to challenge him in any re-election try in that year's Democratic primary. It is hard to see how Zeigler could survive a primary among Democrats with party chairman Gonzalez already calling for his resignation.
How about county auditor Kim Perez, should he resign? Although some Stark citizens have somehow associated Perez with the problems at the Stark treasury, the SCPR is not aware of any public official who has made such a call.
However, Perez received an e-mail from radio personality Pat DeLuca (whose show yours truly has appeared on in the past) demanding his resignation, to wit:
Patrick DeLuca ... 6/25/2010 2:43 PM >>>
As a citizen, homeowner, voter, and taxpayer in Stark county I hearby (sic) demand the resignation of county Treasurer Gary Zeigler and Auditor Kim Perez. The actions demonstrated by both departments, as detailed in State Auditor Mary Taylor's Special Audit Report, call in to question the competance(sic)and ability for both Kim Perez and Gary Zeigler to serve the citizens of this county. I am disgusted and enraged by the lack of accountablity afforded to my hard earned and much paid tax dollars. Sincerely, Patrick DeLuca
The SCPR did contact Pat via e-mail and confirmed the sentiments reflected in the e-mail cited above.
Moreover, DeLuca has issued a scathing "open letter" on Zeigler and Perez which can seen on his DeLuca Show facebook page.
The Perez folks tell yours truly that they have trying to get in touch with DeLuca (without success) to explain Perez's role. Apparently, they believe that if DeLuca hears them out, he will think differently.
Well, the SCPR went to the Taylor report and examined it in detail re: Perez.
The Report interprets Taylor's auditors to be saying that Perez failed to be an effective "checks and balances" on the treasury and that he merely took the data submitted to his office at face value and made no effort to get original source documents.
In light of the Taylor report description of the Stark County auditor's office failure, Perez should make a public explanation as to why DeLuca is wrong on his demand that Perez resign.
As f0r talking DeLuca out of his take on Auditor Perez, the SCPR does not see that happening.
To the SCPR, Taylor's office has been a major failure in this whole debacle. But who audits the auditor?
Note from the Prosecutor Dettelbach's chart above, the thefts have been going on since 2003. Six years, mind you. All the while the Ohio Auditor has been doing "routine" audits annually.
What kind of audits were these? Unbelievable! And Taylor wants to be lieutenant governor.
Many Stark County Republican politicians including Todd Snitchler (Ohio House - 50th), Republican North Canton Mayor David Held, are big believers in having Taylor's office audits done at state and local levels.
Really? In light of the six years of failing to spot the thefts occurring at the Stark Treasury.
Should Taylor resign?
Not as auditor, as she only has months to go as Ohio's auditor. All that would do is disrupt the functioning of the office for very little, if any, public benefit. But she might want to get off the Republican gubernatorial ticket. Kasich has his own problems with the Lehman Brothers thing.
Will the Taylor auditing failure in Stark County cost him in a close election with the vulnerable Ted Strickland?
Could Mary Taylor have lost it all for the Republicans, if Stark Countians are the deciders in the Kasich/Strickland match up?