Collins-Taylor Says She Had No Motive To Lie About Sting

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The state's top public safety official has defended herself before a Senate committee weighing her confirmation after she was accused of lying to investigators.
     
Public Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor said Wednesday that she was truthful when she spoke with the state watchdog looking into the cancellation of a planned sting involving inmates working at the governor's residence.

In a report on the sting, Inspector General Tom Charles accused Collins-Taylor of trying to mischaracterize the operation as a safety risk when protecting the governor from political embarrassment was a key factor.

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Collins-Taylor said Charles' findings were incorrect.

"I had no motive whatsoever to lie about my role in modifying the operation," Collins-Taylor said.

Earlier testimony at the hearing was filled with allegations, including that a top aide to Collins-Taylor sought to set up the watchdog for federal prosecution.

Homeland Security Deputy Director Earl Mack, whose ultimate boss is Collins-Taylor, said her top attorney, Josh Engel, tried to get him to leak classified information about the governor's residence to the inspector general in an effort to frame him for a criminal act, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

"If that report is released, then the setup is that person would be put under investigation," Mack said.

Engel was not available for comment on Wednesday and Collins-Taylor said an internal investigation was under way, Aker reported.

More testimony was scheduled for Thursday.

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Previous Stories:

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