Attorneys Allegedly Spied On E-Mails In Canceled Sting Investigation


The Ohio Department of Public Safety on Wednesday night ousted two attorneys for snooping into e-mails related to a canceled sting at the governor's residence.

Thomas Stickrath, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, fired the agency's former top attorney, Joshua Engel, and accepted staff attorney Pam Bolton's resignation, after authorities uncovered that e-mails were being intercepted, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

Stickrath said that Engel arranged for he and Bolton to receive copies of any e-mails employees sent to the state inspector general or the Columbus Dispatch.

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"I think it looks to me like snooping," Stickrath said. "And it's not something I think that we should be doing in government. We have plenty else to do other than worry about that."

Stickrath had the Ohio State Highway Patrol seize four computers on Tuesday as part of the investigation, Aker reported.

City and county prosecutors are looking into the case, along with the Ohio Ethics Commission.

On Wednesday, Engel's attorney said the probe into the computer was a continuation of an old investigation and that he had been cleared by the Disciplinary Counsel, which is charge of ethical issues for lawyers, Aker reported.

10 Investigates was the first to report that high-ranking state officials canceled an operation aimed at stopping what investigators believed was a drug drop for inmates on work detail at the Governor's Residence.

An investigation into the matter ultimately ousted former Director of Public Safety, Cathy Collins-Taylor, and led to several allegations against Engel, 10 Investigates reported.

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Previous Stories:

September 30, 2010: State Computers Seized In Canceled Sting Probe
June 30, 2010: E-Mails Show Franklin Co. Prosecutor Wants To Investigate Canceled Drug Sting
June 29, 2010: Ohio Inmate Had 6 Beers At Governor's Residence
June 18, 2010: Ohio Inmates Segregated For Drinking
June 2, 1010: Senate Confirms Second Ohio Public Safety Pick
May 26, 2010: Strickland Appoints New Public Safety Director
May 25, 2010:  Ohio Senate Refuses Confirmation Of Collins-Taylor
May 25, 2010:  Ohio Senate Committee Votes Against Public Safety Director's Confirmation
May 20, 2010: Collins-Taylor Says She Had No Motive To Lie About Sting
May 19, 2010: Public Safety Director 'Offended' By Report Into Canceled Sting
May 14, 2010: Subpoenas Out, Confirmation Hearings Will Focus On Whether Public Safety Director Lied
May 13, 2010: Bill Introduced To Review Prisoner Work Program
May 11, 2010: Safety Director Denied Aborting Sting, Recordings Show
May 5, 2010: Strickland Asked To Suspend Inmate Program Where He Lives
April 29, 2010: Report: 'Political Embarrassment' Key Factor In Canceled Sting
April 28, 2010:  'No Holds Barred' Report Expected About Gov. Residence Incident
March 24, 2010:  Senate Hearings Continue On Canceled Drug Sting At Gov's Residence
March 22, 2010: Canceled Hearings On Drug Sting Will Continue
March 17, 2010: E-Mails Show Drug Sting May Have Been Stopped For Political Reasons
February 24, 2010: Cover Up Allegations Follow Canceled Drug Sting
February 23, 2010:  Concerns Linger About Alcohol, Inmates Inside Governor's Residence
February 17, 2010:  10 Investigates' Probe Prompts Senate Hearing
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