10 Investigates' Probe Prompts Senate Hearing


 Senator Timothy Grendell, chairman of the Ohio State Senate Criminal Justice Committee, plans to hold a hearing into a drug sting that was called off at the Governor's Residence in January, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported on Wednesday.

Grendell said he wanted a hearing on what he called a "fiasco at the Governor's Mansion" after listening to responses from the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Superintendent, Col. David Dicken.

Grendell was not pleased with answers that were given to his committee regarding the incident.

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Grendell, a Republican, told 10 Investigates he will hold the meeting within the next few weeks and plans to call everyone involved, including Cathy Collins-Taylor, the director of public safety.

 "I don't think I got complete answers and I think there are some inconsistent answers, that's why I think were going to be pursuing a further investigation," Grendell said.

Grendell said is not sure when the hearings will happen, but expects them to begin "very soon."  He said he believes politics involving the Governor's Office played a role in the decision to halt the sting, Aker reported

The Governor's Office has acknowledged knowing about the operation, but claims it played no role in the execution of the sting.

Earlier this month, supervisors relieved Ohio State Highway Patrol Major Robert Booker of his duties as they planned to investigate his handling of a suspected smuggling plot involving inmates working at Gov. Strickland's Bexley residence.

The patrol had a plan to arrest a woman who was thought to be planning a drug drop at the residence, but Collins-Taylor decided to cancel the sting and warn the woman instead.

Records obtained by 10 Investigates showed that Booker followed Collins-Taylor's order.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Booker is not under investigation because of the outcome of the case, but rather his handling of the situation.

Dicken defended his actions, and said he called off the sting because he was worried about his troopers.

"This was an usual case, and I did instruct the investigators to speak to the wife of the inmate," Dicken said.

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Previous Stories:

February 2, 2010: Patrol Changes Investigation Involving Major 
February 1, 2010:  Ex-Colonel Wants Investigation Into Alleged Gov. Residence Plot
January 29, 2010:  Ohio Highway Patrol Official Ousted Over Alleged Gov. Residence Plot
January 28, 2010:  Strickland Confident How Patrol Handled Sting Outside His Mansion
January 27, 2010:  Woman At Center Of Alleged Drug Deal Governor's Mansion Explains Ordeal
January 26, 2010:  Patrol Tips Off Woman Suspected In Drug Deal At Governor's Mansion